Best Calcium For Bones

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It is quite difficult to come across the very best calcium  for bones. When talking about the best calcium supplements for bones, it is easy for one to get confused. We just need to know a few things, especially which kind of bones we need to treat here. The thing is, calcium deficiencies could lead to several ailments and problems like:

Best Calcium For Bones

The mineral calcium helps your muscles, nerves, and cells work normally.

  • Bones are made up of connective tissue reinforced with calcium and specialised bone cells.
  • The body is constantly remodelling the skeleton by building up new bone tissue and breaking down old bone tissue as required.
  • Healthy bone needs a balanced diet, regular weight-bearing exercise and the right levels of various hormones.

Your body also needs calcium (as well as phosphorus) to make healthy bones. Bones are the main storage site of calcium in the body.

Your body cannot make calcium. The body only gets the calcium it needs through the food you eat, or from supplements. If you do not get enough calcium in your diet, or if your body does not absorb enough calcium, your bones can get weak or will not grow properly.

Your skeleton (bones) are a living organ. Bones are constantly being remodeled with old bone being resorbed and new bone being formed. It takes about 10 years for all the bone in your body to be renewed. That is why paying attention to bone health is important in adults and not just in growing children.

Bone density refers to how much calcium and other minerals are present in a section of your bone. Bone density is highest between ages 25 and 35. It goes down as you get older. This can result in brittle, fragile bones that can break easily, even without a fall or other injury.

The digestive system is normally very bad at absorbing calcium. Most people absorb only 15% to 20% of the calcium they eat in their diet. Vitamin D is the hormone that helps the gut absorb more calcium.

Many older adults have common risks that make bone health worse. Calcium intake in the diet (milk, cheese, yogurt) is low. Vitamin D levels are low and gut calcium absorption is low. In many adults, hormonal signals have to take some calcium out of the bones every day to keep blood calcium levels normal. This contributes to bone loss.

Because of this, as you age, your body still needs calcium to keep your bones dense and strong. Most experts recommend at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 to 1,000 international units of vitamin D a day. Your health care provider may recommend a supplement to give you the calcium and vitamin D you need.

Some recommendations call for much higher doses of vitamin D, but many experts feel that high doses of vitamin D are not safe for everyone. In addition, very high amounts calcium in your diet can lead to health problems such as constipation, kidney stones, and kidney damage. If you are concerned about bone health, be sure to discuss with your provider whether supplements of calcium and Vitamin D are a good choice for you.

People who have gut-related diseases (inflammatory bowel disease, gastric bypass surgery), parathyroid gland disease, or are taking certain medications may need different recommendations for calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Talk to your provider if you are unsure about how much calcium and vitamin D to take.

Follow a diet that provides the proper amount of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. These nutrients will not completely stop bone loss, but they will help ensure that your body has the materials it needs to build bones. Remaining fit and active can also protect bones and keep them stronger. Avoiding smoking also protects bones and keeps them stronger.

High-calcium foods include:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and collard greens
  • Salmon
  • Sardines (with the bones)
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt

Alternative Names

Bone strength and calcium; Osteoporosis – calcium and bones; Osteopenia – calcium and bones; Bone thinning – calcium and bones; Low bone density – calcium and bones.

Calcium is a mineral your body needs to build and maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body.

Almost all calcium in the body is stored in bones and teeth, giving them structure and hardness.

Your body needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between your brain and every part of your body. Calcium also helps blood vessels move blood throughout your body and helps release hormones that affect many functions in your body.

How much calcium do I need?

The amount of calcium you need each day depends on your age and sex. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg):

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months 200 mg
Infants 7–12 months 260 mg
Children 1–3 years 700 mg
Children 4–8 years 1,000 mg
Children 9–13 years 1,300 mg
Teens 14–18 years 1,300 mg
Adults 19–50 years 1,000 mg
Adult men 51–70 years 1,000 mg
Adult women 51–70 years 1,200 mg
Adults 71 years and older 1,200 mg
Pregnant and breastfeeding teens 1,300 mg
Pregnant and breastfeeding adults 1,000 mg

What foods provide calcium?

Calcium is found in many foods. You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:

  • Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the main food sources of calcium for most people in the United States.
  • Canned sardines and salmon with bones contain calcium.
  • Certain vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage (bok choi) also contain calcium.
  • Calcium is added to some beverages, including many fruit juices and milk substitutes such as soy and almond beverages, as well as some brands of tofu and ready-to-eat cereals. To find out whether these foods have calcium added, check the product labels.
  • Most grains (such as breads, pastas, and unfortified cereals) do not have high amounts of calcium. However, because people eat them often, what they contribute adds up.

What kinds of calcium dietary supplements are available?

Calcium is found in many multivitamin-mineral supplements, in calcium supplements, and in supplements that contain calcium and other nutrients such as vitamin D. Check the Supplement Facts label to determine the amount of calcium in the supplement.

The two main forms of calcium in dietary supplements are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate is absorbed best when taken with food. Some over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums and Rolaids, also contain calcium carbonate.

Calcium citrate is well absorbed on an empty stomach or a full stomach. People with low levels of stomach acid—a condition most common in older people—absorb calcium citrate more easily than calcium carbonate.

Other forms of calcium in supplements and fortified foods include calcium sulfate, calcium ascorbate, calcium microcrystalline hydroxyapatite, calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, and calcium phosphate.

Calcium is absorbed best when you take 500 mg or less at one time. If you take 1,000 mg/day of calcium from supplements, for example, it is better to take a smaller dose twice a day than to take it all at once.

Calcium supplements might cause gas, bloating, and constipation in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, try spreading out the calcium dose throughout the day, taking the supplement with meals, or switching the form of calcium you take.

Am I getting enough calcium?

Many people in the United States get less than recommended amounts of calcium from food and supplements, especially:

  • Children and teens aged 4 to 18 years
  • Non-Hispanic Blacks and non-Hispanic Asians
  • Adults aged 50 years and older living in poverty

Certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough calcium, including:

  • Postmenopausal women. The body absorbs and retains less calcium after menopause. Over time, this can lead to fragile bones.
  • People who don’t drink milk or eat other dairy products. Dairy products are rich sources of calcium, but people with lactose intolerance, people with milk allergies, and vegans (people who don’t consume any animal products) must find other sources of calcium. Options include lactose-free or reduced-lactose dairy products; canned fish with bones; certain vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage; calcium-fortified fruit juices and milk substitutes such as soy and almond beverages, tofu, and ready-to-eat cereals; and dietary supplements that contain calcium.

What happens if I don’t get enough calcium?

Getting too little calcium can cause several conditions, including the following:

  • Osteoporosis, which causes weak, fragile bones and increases the risk of falling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD7T5GF6b28
  • Rickets, a disease in children that causes soft, weak bones
  • Osteomalacia, which causes soft bones in children and adults

What are some effects of calcium on health?

Scientists are studying calcium to understand how it affects health. Here are several examples of what this research has shown:

Bone health in older adults
After about age 30, bones slowly lose calcium. In middle age, bone loss speeds up and can lead to weak, fragile bones (osteoporosis) and broken bones (fractures). Although bone loss is more common in women, it can affect men too.

The health of your bones is measured with a bone mineral density test, which will tell whether your bones are healthy and strong, or weak and thin. Some studies have found that calcium supplements with or without vitamin D increase bone mineral density in older adults, but others do not. In addition, it is not clear whether calcium supplements help prevent fractures. More research is needed to better understand whether consuming more calcium from food or supplements improves bone health in older adults.

Cancer
Some research shows that people who have high intakes of calcium from food and supplements have a lower risk of cancers of the colon and rectum, but other studies do not. Some studies have shown that men with high intakes of calcium from dairy foods have an increased risk of prostate cancer. For other types of cancer, calcium does not appear to affect the risk of getting cancer or dying of cancer. More research is needed to better understand whether calcium from foods or dietary supplements affects cancer risk.

Heart disease
Calcium can attach to fats and reduce the amount of fat that your body absorbs. Some studies show that calcium supplements have no effect on heart disease, while others show calcium supplements might even increase the risk of heart disease. Overall, experts believe that calcium intakes with or without vitamin D from foods or supplements do not affect the risk of heart disease or of dying from heart disease. (See the section called Can calcium be harmful? )

Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a serious complication of late pregnancy. Symptoms include high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. Calcium supplements might reduce the risk of preeclampsia in some pregnant women who consume too little calcium. Therefore, many experts recommend calcium supplements during pregnancy for women with low calcium intakes.

Warning signs of preeclampsia that you should not ignore.

Weight management
Research hasn’t clearly shown whether calcium from dairy products or supplements helps you lose weight or prevents weight gain. Some studies show that consuming more calcium helps, but other studies do not. For more information, read our fact sheet on dietary supplements for weight loss.

Metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a serious medical condition that increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. You have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of the following:

  • a large waistline
  • high blood levels of fat (triglycerides)
  • low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (good cholesterol)
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar levels

Some research suggests that a higher intake of calcium might help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome in women but not men. More studies are needed.

Can calcium be harmful?

Some research suggests that high calcium intakes might increase the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer.

High levels of calcium in the blood and urine can cause poor muscle tone, poor kidney function, low phosphate levels, constipation, nausea, weight loss, extreme tiredness, frequent need to urinate, abnormal heart rhythms, and a high risk of death from heart disease. However, high levels of calcium in the blood and urine are usually caused by a health condition such as high levels of parathyroid hormone or cancer, not by high calcium intakes.

The daily upper limits for calcium include intakes from all sources—food, beverages, and supplements—and are listed below.

Life Stage Upper Limit
Birth to 6 months 1,000 mg
Infants 7–12 months 1,500 mg
Children 1–8 years 2,500 mg
Children 9–18 years 3,000 mg
Adults 19–50 years 2,500 mg
Adults 51 years and older 2,000 mg
Pregnant and breastfeeding teens 3,000 mg
Pregnant and breastfeeding adults 2,500 mg

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