Do You Need Calcium Supplements?

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You might be aware that you need calcium for teeth and bone development, but do you know if you’re getting enough calcium from your diet? This simple primer will help you determine if you are getting enough calcium and how to get the adequate amount.

What does calcium do for your body? Calcium facilatates proper muscle and heart function, and it builds strong bones and teeth. You need calcium every day because your body leaches calcium from your teeth and bones to meet your body’s needs, and then restores the calcium reserve (your bones and teeth) with the calcium you’ve consumed that day. If your calcium intake is low, your bones and teeth get weaker and weaker as time goes by, since the body keeps making withdrawals from your bones and teeth, regardless of how much or little calcium you are restoring. This is why you should keep an eye on how much calcium you get each day.

What should you do to get enough calcium? Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, ice milk), salmon, sardines, and shrimp are all excellent sources of calcium. There is a lot of calcium available in leafy greens and soybean products, but some people are wary of these two sources because of the presence of oxalate, which might drain calcium from the body.

How much calcium do you need in a day? Children should get at least 400 mg, adolescents and adults should get at least 800 mg, and pregnant and nursing mothers should get at least 1200 mg each day. If you are a grown woman, you can’t go wrong by taking 1500 mg each day.

Is dietary consumption enough, or do you need calcium supplements? If you are adult and female, you should take calcium supplements because females are most vulnerable to osteoporosis, the weakening of the bones. Most vegans–those who don’t eat fish or dairy–need calcium supplements since it’s very difficult to get enough calcium through other sources. Buy calcium supplements made from calcium citrate (for best absorption). Try taking one 500 mg supplement with your breakfast, one with lunch, and one with dinner–this will maximize absorption. Vitamin D faciliatates the absorption of calcium, so take one of these a day as well.

Calcium supplements ensure strong bones and teeth, which means a strong you!

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