From the day you’re born, your bones are being built with calcium to make them stronger.
Calcium makes bones as strong as steel!
Your body initially establishes a scaffolding of collagen when it creates new bone tissue. The collagen framework was then covered in small calcium crystals that had diffused throughout your blood. All of the crevices are filled in by the hard crystals. Collagen and calcium combine to create strong, flexible bones.
Too little calcium makes bones weak.
For several functions, your body needs calcium. You can pitch a softball because calcium makes your muscles operate better. It aids in nerve impulse transmission. For instance, your brain instantly receives and transmits the signal to say, “Ouch!” and withdraw your hand away if you contact something hot. Your body can mend from cuts and scrapes with the aid of calcium.
Your body needs calcium for every cell. Calcium is stored in your bones for your blood and cells. Your body will remove calcium from your bones if it doesn’t obtain enough calcium from certain foods and beverages. And that might weaken your bones. Your bones are created and reinforced by calcium from the moment you are born. In fact, your bones will be at their strongest ever in your 20s.
You must consume adequate calcium now and continue to do so in order to ensure that your bones remain strong even when you are 30, 40, or even 50 (ancient!).
Calcium and bones
Your muscles, nerves, and cells all function more normally thanks to the mineral calcium.
To build strong bones, your body also requires calcium and phosphorus. The body’s primary calcium storing organ is the bone.
Calcium cannot be produced by the body. Only the food you consume and dietary supplements provide the body with the calcium it needs. Your bones may become weak or may not develop normally if you do not consume enough calcium in your diet or if your body does not absorb enough calcium.
Your bones are a live organ in your body. Old bone is continually resorbed and new bone is continuously created in the bones. All of the bone in your body needs to regenerate every ten years or so. Because of this, adults should also pay attention to their bone health, not simply developing children.
How much calcium and other minerals are present in a particular area of your bone is referred to as its density. The peak age for bone density is between 25 and 35. As you age, it decreases. As a result, even without a fall or other damage, this can lead to brittle, weak bones that can break easily.
Calcium absorption by the digestive system is typically relatively poor. The majority of people only absorb 15%–20% of the calcium they consume in their diet. The hormone that promotes greater calcium absorption in the intestines is vitamin D.
There are numerous prevalent hazards among elderly persons that compromise bone health. The diet has a low calcium consumption (milk, cheese, and yogurt). Low vitamin D levels and poor intestinal calcium absorption are both present. Hormonal signals must remove some calcium from the bones every day from many individuals in order to maintain appropriate blood calcium levels. Loss of bone is a result of this.
As a result, calcium is still required by your body as you age in order to maintain strong, dense bones. The majority of specialists advise consuming 800 to 1,000 international units of vitamin D and at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day. Your doctor could suggest a supplement to help you get the calcium and vitamin D you require.
Although many doctors believe that large doses of vitamin D are not safe for everyone, some recommendations call for far higher doses of the vitamin. Additionally, consuming excessive quantities of calcium can cause renal damage, constipation, and kidney stones. Ask your doctor if calcium and vitamin D pills are a good option for you if you’re worried about your bone health.
Different recommendations for calcium and vitamin D supplementation may be required for individuals with specific drugs, parathyroid gland disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gastric bypass surgery, and other conditions connected to the gut. If you are unsure of how much calcium and vitamin D to take, consult your doctor.
Consume a diet rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D in the recommended amounts. Although they won’t totally stop it, these nutrients will ensure that your body has the resources it needs to create new bones. Bones can be strengthened and protected by staying active and fit. Smoking is prohibited, which maintains bones healthy and strong.
The most prevalent mineral in the body, calcium is mostly present in bones and teeth. Maintaining the bone mass required to support the skeleton is crucial. The heart, muscles, and nerves, as well as other parts of the body, all depend on calcium to function. Minor amounts of calcium are lost through sweat and the shedding of hair, fingernails, and skin, while the majority is lost through natural biological processes in the kidneys and colon.
If a person consumes insufficient calcium in their diet to replenish what is lost, their body will draw calcium from their bones’ reserves, weakening them and raising their risk of fracture. Even with dietary supplements, the majority of Americans still do not consume enough calcium, with only 32% of adults in the U.S. estimated to get enough calcium from their diet alone.
Dietary Sources of Calcium
By eating a diet that includes adequate amounts of the following nutritional foods, a healthy level of calcium can be maintained through diet alone and without the use of supplements:
- Dairy products (yogurt, cheese and especially milk)
- Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli and kale)
- Beans and peas (tofu, peanuts, peas, black beans)
- Some types of fish (salmon, sardines)
- Other foods rich in calcium (oranges, blackstrap molasses, almonds)
If one is not eating enough of the above foods as part of a daily diet, calcium supplements may be a viable option to ensure there is sufficient calcium intake.
Obtaining the Right Amount of Calcium in the Diet
The recommended amounts of calcium for adults are as follows2
- Adults between ages 19 and 50: 1,000 mg of calcium per day
- Men aged 51 to 70 years: 1000 mg per day
- Women aged 51 to 70: 1200 mg per day
- Adults aged 71 and older: 1200 mg per day
Please be aware that ingesting more calcium than 2,000 mg a day can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney stones. When calcium is taken at the proper dosages, this does not happen. Before taking any additional calcium, people who currently have kidney illness should speak with a doctor.
For appropriate bone development and strength, it’s crucial for kids and teenagers to have enough calcium and other bone minerals. Osteoporosis risk rises noticeably over time as a result of dietary deficiencies in calcium and other bone-building minerals (thinning of the bone).
Osteoporosis can cause fractures in the spine’s bones, which can result in ongoing pain and perhaps even deformity. Because older women typically have lower body weights, less bone mass, and hormonal changes following menopause, they are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
The following procedures must be taken in order to maintain strong bones:
- Obtain bone nutrients regularly in the diet by consuming quality foods and beverages that maximize absorption from the gut
- Reduce food and drink choices that interfere with bone nutrient absorption
- Incorporate lifestyle choices that improve bone integrity, such as adequate exercise and hydration while reducing salt and soda consumption
- Consider nutritional supplements if bone integrity is a concern
Last but not least, always get medical counsel before altering your diet or taking dietary supplements. Working with a professional will also make it easier to create and maintain a comprehensive diet that includes eating healthful meals, limiting bad food intake, selecting the right form and quantity of nutritional supplements (where necessary), and getting regular exercise.