Dr. Strasser's Wellness Tips

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What’s the Best Calcium?

calcium supplementsCalcium, the body’s most prominent mineral, is essential for heart, muscle and nerve function, and for our blood to clot. 99% of the body’s calcium is found in teeth and bones. It is vital to our structural health. Low calcium may be related to other disorders, such as depression and PMS. Here is information regarding Calcium, how much we need and the best sources.

How Much Calcium Do I Need? Most adults require 1200 mg. daily of calcium. Some sources use a higher figure: 1700 mg. daily.

What Is The Best Food Source of Calcium? Milk and yogurt (300-450 mg. in 8oz serving); Cheese (300-450 mg. in 3 oz serving); Bones in canned sardines and salmon (180-450 mg. in 3 oz serving); Calcium fortified foods (ie. orange juice and soy milk: 200-300 mg. in 8oz serving); Dark green, leafy vegetables ( 100-200 mg in 1 cup serving).

Do I Need A Calcium Supplement? If you are not obtaining your 1200 mg of calcium, and the necessary Vitamin D, from food, you may need to supplement your diet with a calcium supplement. How much and what to take should be a careful, and individual, decision. In my practice, I regularly review supplements with my patients.

What”s The Best Calcium Supplement? Citrate or even better a Cirate Malate. Citrate is a relatively cheap source of calcium and its absorbed even between meals. Carbonate is a common source and needs to be taken with a meal to be absorbed.

Does Calcium Increase Bone Density? Our peak bone mass is reached at age 20 (with a little more gained until age 30), thus adequate calcium is essential for the development of bone mass in children and adolescents, but does not increase bone density in adults. However, calcium does protect the bone mass we have achieved as adults and can slow the remodeling of bone that comes with age. Exercise is essential to maintain bone density.

Does Calcium Prevent Osteoporosis And Reduce Fractures? By helping to maintain bone density, calcium can prevent osteoporosis, but only if we keep moving. Studies are mixed regarding the benefit of taking a calcium supplement to reduce fractures. It appears the primary factors in fracture among the older population are loss of balance and muscle tone, and impaired brain function (cognition). Adding calcium to maintain bone health might help a bone withstand a fall.

Can Calcium Absorption Be Decreased By What We Eat And Drink? Yes, there are many culprits including an excess of caffeine, soda drinks, alcohol, salt and protein. Drugs including antacids, cortisone, thyroid medication, laxatives may deplete calcium.

Do I Need To Take Vitamin D And How Much Do I Need? Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and appears to have a role in muscle strength and coordination (so it may have a role in preventing those fractures in the older population). Vitamin D is obtained from sunlight, from food (eggs yolks, saltwater fish, and fortified foods) and as a supplement. I recommend a a daily supplement of 400-800 mg. How much we need is controversial. See the Vitamin D Wellness Tip.’, ‘What”s the Best Calcium?’, ‘Calcium, the body’s most prominent mineral, is essential for heart, muscle and nerve function, and for our blood to clot.