why do we need calcium in our diet

Recent media reports and studies have left many confused about calcium supplements and their effect on the heart. While some studies have suggested a possible link between calcium supplements and heart-related problems, substantial evidence supports that taking the recommended amount of calcium supplements poses no risk to the heart. What we know is that experts agree getting enough calcium is critical for bone health and overall health. And we also know that osteoporosis medications don t work without calcium and vitamin D. Aim to get the recommended daily amount of calcium you need from foodP first Pand supplement only as needed to make up for any shortfall. Use ourP
Pto estimate your daily calcium intake from food and review ourP Pfor new ideas to help youPincorporate calcium in your diet. Maintain an overall healthy lifestyle by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercising and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol. If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, work with your healthcare provider to determine an appropriate treatment plan that includes calcium, vitamin D, safe exercise and medication. Follow your plan and consult with your healthcare provider before deciding to stop taking your supplements or medication. How much calcium and vitamin D do you need?


NOF recommends that women age 50 and younger get 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources daily and that women age 51 and older get 1,200 mg. P For men, NOF recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for those age 70 and younger and 1,200 mg for men age 71 and older. And dont forget about vitamin D, which enables your body to absorb calcium. Most adults under age 50 need 400-800 international units (IU) daily and most adults age 50 and older need 800-1,000 IU daily. Some people need more vitamin D to maintain healthy blood levels of the vitamin, so be sure to talk with your healthcare provider to determine the amount that s right for you. VisitP Pfor our complete recommendations on calcium and vitamin D. Remember, regardless of what you hear or read, always talk to your healthcare provider about your individual needs for calcium and vitamin D and never stop taking your supplements without talking to your healthcare provider first. Many foods contain calcium, but dairy products are the best source. Milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheeses, and buttermilk contain a form of calcium that your body can easily absorb. Whole milk (4% fat) is recommended for children ages 1 to 2. Most adults and children over age 2 should drink low-fat (2% or 1%) milk or skim milk and other dairy products.


Removing the fat will not lower the amount of calcium in a dairy product. Yogurt, most cheeses, and buttermilk are excellent sources of calcium and come in low-fat or fat-free versions. Milk is also a good source of phosphorus and magnesium, which help the body absorb and use calcium. is needed to helpPyour body use calcium. Milk is fortified with vitamin D for this reason. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy or Chinese cabbage Almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, tahini, and dried beans Calcium is often added to food products. These include foods such asPorange juice, soy milk, tofu, ready-to-eat cereals, and breads. These are a very good source of calcium for people who do not eat a lot of dairy products. Cook foods in a small amount of water for the shortest possible time to keep more calcium in the foods you eat. (This means steaming or sauting to cook instead ofPboiling foods. ) Be careful aboutPthe other foods you eat with calcium-rich foods. Certain fibers, such as wheat bran, and foods with oxalic acid (spinach and rhubarb) can bind with calcium and prevent it from being absorbed. This is why leafy greens are not considered an adequatePsource of calcium by themselves, because your body is unable to utilize much of the calcium they contain.


People on a vegan diet need to be sure to also include soy products and fortified products in order to get enough calcium. Calcium is also found in many multivitamin-mineral supplements. The amount varies, depending on the supplement. Dietary supplements may contain only calcium, or calcium with other nutrients such as vitamin D. Check the label on the Supplement Facts panel of the package to determine the amount of calcium in the supplement. Calcium absorption is best when taken in amounts of no more than 500 mg at a time. Two commonly available forms of calcium dietary supplements include calcium citrate and calcium carbonate. Calcium citrate is the more expensive form of the supplement. It is taken up well by the body on a full or empty stomach. Calcium carbonate is less expensive. It is absorbed better by the body if taken with food. Calcium carbonate is found in over-the-counter antacid products such as Rolaids or Tums. Each chew or pill usually provides 200 to 400 mg of calcium. Check the label for the exact amount. Other types of calcium in supplements and foods include calcium lactate, calcium gluconate, and calcium phosphate.

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