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What You Need To Know About Calcium Supplements
by Peter Bua
Calcium is a mineral that is crucial in maintaining bone health. In an ideal world, you would get all the nutrients, including calcium, you require from your diet. However, the world is far from perfect. Calcium supplements prove to be a reliable source of additional calcium for the body.
Why is Calcium so Important?Experts agree that calcium is essential in growing new bones and maintaining them. Calcium forms hydroxyapatite, which forms 85% of total bone mass. Additionally, you require calcium for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. Although without conclusive evidence, some recent studies show calcium may prevent diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk and cheese. Fish such as sardines and dark leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale also serve as excellent sources. Now that you know the benefits of calcium in the body, a question arises:
Why Should You Take Calcium Supplements?Research shows that more than a third of Americans don’t get enough calcium in their diets. The problem gets compounded with conditions such as osteoporosis and lactose intolerance affecting the absorption and metabolism of calcium. With 30 to 50 million Americans being lactose intolerant, it means that they cannot source their calcium from dairy products. If the recommended daily requirement is not met, calcium supplements can play a crucial role.
How Much Should You Take?The amount of calcium you require depends on your age and sex. Studies show that an adult needs 1000 milligrams of every day. The number is slightly higher in adolescents. The National Institute of Health recommends 1300 milligrams of calcium per day for children between the ages of 9-18 years. Women over 50 and men over 70 require about 1200 milligrams per day. If you suspect you are not meeting the threshold, consult with your doctor who can then prescribe supplements.
Types of Calcium SupplementsCalcium supplement synthesis uses different compounds. Each type has a varying amount of elemental calcium. The most common is calcium carbonate, which has about 40% elemental calcium. Calcium citrate is the other half of the two main types of supplements. It contains about 21% elemental calcium. Other less common types are Calcium lactate and calcium gluconate with 13% and 9 % elemental calcium, respectively. When you choose to order calcium supplements, it is essential to keep some key pointers in mind. They include:
- Amount of elemental Calcium.
- Medical prescriptions you take.
- Tolerance to side effects.
- Supplement form, e.g., tablets, powders.