04 Oct Bone Up on Your Calcium
Femoral fractures are the second most prevalent cause of nursing home admission, preceded only by stroke. Building and maintaining bone health is imperative in maintaining the freedom and ability to live long and independently. There has been a lot of controversy regarding the use of calcium supplementation to maintain bone health and the potential risk of heart disease. The most recent literature states that supplementing with physiological levels of calcium (total daily calcium of 1000mg for men and menstruating women and 1200mg for post-menopausal women) is safe and beneficial for helping regain bone strength and prevent fractures.
Osteoporosis, a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, can stem from calcium intake that occurred during childhood. Humans reach their peak bone mass between the ages of 25 and 35 and then notice a gradual decline for the rest of their lives. If calcium intake has been deficient early in life, peak bone mass is decreased and the risk of osteoporosis throughout our lifetime increases. One study found that in females over the age 11, not one age group consumed at least 75% of the RDA of calcium. So, we not only need to supplement older adults at risk of falling and breaking bones, but also our children as they grow up. Children should be consuming 1000mg per day of calcium.
It is well-known that vitamin D is essential in absorbing calcium in all its forms. It is not common knowledge as to what calcium supplementation is the best. There are many forms of calcium with the most popular being calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Many providers recommend a calcium carbonate supplement such as OsCal or Caltrate because the carbonate form has the greatest concentration of elemental calcium. Unfortunately, calcium carbonate is difficult to absorb, especially in a stomach without much acidity. Low stomach acid is common in the elderly and people taking acid reducers to help with heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Calcium citrate (found in products such as Citracal) does not have such a high concentration of elemental calcium, but it is able to be absorbed more readily, especially when a lower level of acid is not present. It is a better choice of supplementation. The most readily absorbed and utilized calcium is microcrystalline hydroxyappetite (MCHA). This form of calcium has been shown to build bone through supplementation alone.
Of course getting calcium from your diet is the best way to build your bones. The top 10 naturally calcium rich foods are raw milk, kale, sardines, yogurt or kefir, broccoli, watercress, cheese, bok choy, okra and almonds. But if that’s not enough, at Redline Specialty Pharmacy we carry an excellent calcium supplement called Osteosheath. It contains not only MCHA, but also calcium carbonate, Vitamin D, magnesium, boron, and more minerals and nutrients to allow your body to utilize the calcium effectively. Take charge of your health and pick up a quality calcium supplement today.