Mayur Deshpande
  Personal trainer in Mumbai
Nutritional Supplements Library Calcium

Nutritional Supplements Library

Calcium


What is calcium?

It is a macro mineral. Calcium is an important component of a healthy diet. Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are a well-known source of calcium. Other source of calcium are kelp, wakame and hijiki; nuts and seeds (like almonds and sesame); beans; amaranth; collard greens; okra; rutabaga; broccoli; kale; and fortified products such as orange juice and soy milk. The digestion and absorption is of calcium are related to its solubility. Inorganic forms such as calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate tend to be less soluble.
The organic forms such as calcium citrate, calcium citrate-malate and calcium gluconate are more soluble. Calcium carbonate is more refined and clinically researched forms of calcium. The average person loses 400 to 500mg of calcium per day. If an individual's diet is low in calcium, there may not be sufficient amounts of calcium available in the blood to be returned to the bones to maintain strong bones and total body health. National institute of health recommends that premenopausal adult women should consume 1000 mg of calcium per day. Postmenopausal women who are not taking estrogen therapy should consume 1500mg per day.


What is the effective dosage of calcium supplementation?

The effective dosage is 1000mg to 1500mg per day in divided dosage, depending upon the stage of life. Calcium to magnesium ratio in diet is very important because when magnesium levels in blood stream falls, the kidney readjust the balance by holding on to less calcium. Ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1, means when you take 1000mg of calcium, take at least 500mg of magnesium. Vitamin-D is also needed to absorb calcium. Children dosage is range from 350 to 1000mg per day.


What are the benefits of calcium supplementation?

• Poor calcium intake can lead to bone deformation, growth retardation, bone fracture, muscle spasm, cramps, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.
• Calcium is a very potent sleep inducer and using it at bed time may produce a bonus benefits for a better sleep.
• It aids in absorption of Vitamin B-12.
• It builds strong bones and teeth, prevents bone loss.
• It activates number of enzymes.
• Calcium regulates muscle contraction and relaxation.


What are the side effects of calcium supplementation?

Excess calcium intake for prolonged duration can lead to inhibition of iron absorption and deposits in the kidneys.
Cautions-
• If you are taking corticosteroids, which inhibit calcium absorption and have been associated with onset of osteoporosis and bone fractures, higher dosage of calcium may be needed.
• Diet high in simple sugar and carbohydrate weakens bones because sugar acidifies the blood, forcing calcium out of the body.
• Dietitians recommend milk as source of calcium but it is misleading because most of the calcium is used by the body in the digestion of milk protein (casein). This can lead to calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.