Tags: dietary calcium | bone health | calcium supplements | osteoporosis

Should You Use Calcium Supplements?

Monday, 23 December 2013 12:10 AM

A lot of emphasis is laid on the importance of dietary calcium, but despite its usefulness for the body this important mineral is often neglected. Elderly people complain of pain in the joints. This lifestyle-hampering symptom can be due to osteoporosis, which results from poor bone health.
Calcium is an essential mineral present in the body in abundant quantities. Bones and teeth comprise 99 percent of the calcium content in the body and the remaining 1 percent is in the blood. Calcium plays a vital role in maintaining bone health and other muscle contractions and functions, nerve conduction, nerve transmission, vascular contraction, vasodilation, intracellular signalling, hormonal secretion, and blood clotting. Calcium from the bones mixes with the bloodstream to help maintain the blood calcium level. Therefore, it is essential to consume adequate amounts of calcium to maintain bone health and calcium levels. Insufficient calcium in the blood and bone result in bone loss, affect bone health, and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Calcium supplements are required when dietary calcium fails to maintain calcium levels. Calcium supplements can thus augment dietary calcium. In instances of improper absorption of calcium, calcium supplements may be necessary. This may happen in instances when the small intestine does not absorb dietary calcium.
However, calcium absorption depends on the type of dietary calcium consumed, its ability to dissolve in the intestine and its presence in the body. Thus, calcium supplements should be taken after considering the way your body is processing dietary calcium. Concentrating on dietary calcium might also help bone health but this is usually true for children and younger adults. With age, the body’s ability to absorb dietary calcium decreases and calcium supplements are needed.
Children must be provided adequate dietary calcium to strengthen bone health and prevent bone and joint diseases like osteoporosis as they grow.

Segments at risk from poor bone health and calcium deficiency include postmenopausal women, women suffering from amenorrhea, female athletes, vegetarians, lactose-intolerant individuals, and people with milk allergy.

Osteoporosis patients or people with low bone health should take calcium supplements. Though supplements are safe, a doctor’s consultation is advised.
The body absorbs less calcium when calcium intake is increased. No more than 500 milligrams of calcium at a time interval of four to six hours is recommended.

According to the standards prescribed by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, good calcium supplements contain 90 to 110 percent of the amount of elemental calcium listed on the label and dissolves within 30 to 40 minutes.
Calcium supplements cover the deficiency that increasing dietary calcium cannot counteract. For the elderly or for people with low bone health or osteoporosis, supplements become necessary. They may need to consume calcium supplements for extended periods or even lifelong.
Elemental calcium is the calcium present in compounds. Common types are calcium carbonate (contains 40 percent elemental calcium) and calcium citrate (contains 21 percent elemental calcium).
Other types of calcium are calcium lactate, calcium phosphate, and calcium gluconate. These calcium supplements contain very small percentages of elemental calcium and a large number of tablets may be required to meet deficiency.

During digestion, the calcium compound dissolves and elemental calcium is absorbed into the blood stream. For instance, even if a calcium supplement tablet contains 500 mgs of calcium carbonate, elemental calcium is only 200 mgs. All tablets of calcium supplements list the elemental calcium content on its label.
Initial stages of calcium deficiency can be treated by increasing the intake of dietary calcium. In other cases, the below mentioned supplements might be prescribed.
Calcium supplements are sold under different brand names: Citracal, Solgar, Tums, Caltrate,
Rolaids, Os-Cal, Oyster S, Viactiv, Centrum, and Meijer.
Excessive calcium intake can be harmful. Taken in excess, calcium can cause constipation, kidney stones, heart death, nausea and vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, unusual weight loss, mood swings, bone or muscle pain, headache, increased thirst and urination, and allergies.

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
Insufficient amounts of calcium could result in bone loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. While dietary calcium is considered the best source, calcium supplements are also available to support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
dietary calcium,bone health,calcium supplements,osteoporosis
Monday, 23 December 2013 12:10 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved