Friday, September 18th, 2009

Calcium

calciumCalcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies. It is important to have adequate calcium throughout life, so bones and teeth can remain strong into old age.

Over 99 percent of our body’ calcium is found in bones and teeth, making them hard and strong. Although less than 1 percent of body calcium is in blood and soft tissue, that tiny amount has vitally important roles in muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission, blood clotting, and cell metabolism.

Although we usually achieve our peak bone mass at around 30, we can build bone mass later too with walking and weight bearing exercises. To prevent even minor dips in calcium our body will demineralize bone.

During every life stage, optimal calcium intake is necessary. If children and young adults fail to take in enough calcium, they are more likely to develop osteoporosis later in their lives. As we age, optimal calcium intake slows bone loss, helping preserve bone density.

Dietary Recommendations

  • Adequate Intake (AI) recommendations are aimed at minimizing osteoporosis risk.
  • For adults—19 to 50 years—AI—1200 milligrams per day
  • For persons—51 and older—AI—1300 milligrams per day

Unfortunately many of us fall far short of recommended calcium intakes, especially adolescent girls—for whom calcium is most important.

Sources
Dairy products, other significant sources are broccoli, cauliflower, red beans and greens. A glass of milk provides 300 milligrams of calcium

Bone stealers

Cola, caffeine, alcohol, salty foods are bone stealers, regardless of the calcium intake.

Calcium absorption

We usually absorb 25 to 75 percent of calcium we take and it is inversely related. The more calcium you take the less you absorb and it lowers with increased age. Calcium absorption is particularly efficient during pregnancy and infancy. We absorb more calcium from home made yoghurt than from the equal amount of milk.

Calcium absorption does not go with

  • Wheat bran, whole grains, nuts and leafy greens
  • High supplement doses of magnesium and phosphorus
  • Low levels of Vitamin D
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Category: Minerals
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