If you’re currently considering taking vitamin supplement calcium, check with your doctor first and then get started! Studies show that as much as half of all men and women do not consume even 50% of the calcium their bodies need.
Calcium plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth and supports proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves.
The bones and teeth contain approximately 99% of the calcium within our bodies, and when too little calcium is consumed, stores are robbed from both sources.
Calcium is depleted from our bodies in a variety of ways.
Calcium is naturally shed via dead skin cells, perspiration, and urine.
Consuming large amounts caffeine and alcoholic beverages can deplete calcium within the body, as can carbonated beverages.
A high protein diet and excessive use of antacids containing aluminum can also diminish calcium levels.
Calcium and Osteoporosis
As men and women age, consistently inadequate calcium intake is believed to contribute to osteoporosis.
Post-menopausal women are at a particularly high risk for osteoporosis due to the sharp reduction of estrogen within their bodies, but men, too are at risk.
Lactose intolerant individuals, celiacs and those with malabsorption conditions such as Crohn’s disease must take particular care to consume enough calcium.
Bed-ridden individuals are also at risk for excessive loss of calcium from their bones.
Beyond Strong Bones and Teeth
Prevention of osteoporosis and the maintenance of strong bones and teeth are just two of many benefits associated with an increased vitamin supplement calcium intake.
When consumed in particular with low-fat dairy product food sources and working in conjunction with vitamin D, calcium may help treat:
- High blood pressure, particularly when a variety of fruits and vegetables are included in the diet.
- High cholesterol
In addition, taking vitamin supplement calcium in conjunction with low-fat dairy product consumption could help prevent:
- Colon cancer
- Tooth loss and gum disease
- Rickets in children
Research is currently underway to determine the extent to which vitamin supplement calcium intake can help with each of these conditions.
In the meantime, the known benefits along with the possible ones suggest an increase in calcium intake is worthwhile.
Correct Calcium Intake
Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin supplement calcium as it can interact with certain medications.
Your doctor should also recommend an appropriate dosage depending on your age, physical condition, and medical history.
In general, 500 mg of calcium or less should be taken several times throughout day along with several cups of water.
Consuming larger doses at one time may result in constipation or stomach upset. Combined dietary and supplemental calcium intake should generally not exceed 2500 mg. per day.