Calcium for Health (04)
Calcium Supplements for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women need calcium for their babies, but some of them don't drink enough milk. If you are one of them, here is a list of milk alternatives so you can still get the right amount of calcium you need. This includes cheese and yogurt. If you are having stomach problems when drinking milk, you can hide it by pouring it in creamy soups. For non-dairy products, you can try fortified fruit juice, tofu, dark leafy greens, and broccoli. And because you will also be skipping Vitamin D if you don't drink enough milk, the article suggests getting out to the sun for a few minutes a day.
Calcium and Vitamin D Information on NIAMS.NIH.gov
This publication by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) contains information about calcium and vitamin D. This includes the recommended calcium intakes (in milligrams) according to age, and a list of selected calcium-rich foods. For calcium supplements, they are better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less) several times throughout the day. For many individuals, calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken with food. However, the NIAMS warns that excessive amounts of calcium can potentially increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. The article also reminds everyone about the other techniques of preventing and treating osteoporosis.
WebMD on Calcium
Calcium is one of the highest-selling supplements in the United States because of its benefits, such as bone and dental health, proper heart rhythm and muscle function, to name a few. This WebMD resource offers information on the importance of calcium, how much calcium people of various ages need and where calcium can be naturally found. This page also discusses the risk of taking calcium supplements. These include calcium supplementation side effects such as constipation, bloating, gas, and an increased risk of heart attacks. Calcium supplements can also interact with drugs taken for health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy and heart disease.
Respect for Calcium's Role Grows with New Research
Everyone is buzzing about calcium supplements, but are they really best for calcium nutrition? This article discusses a story about calcium supplements and found that calcium supplements can lower blood pressure. It can protect against high blood pressure and against colon cancer, too. Read more about this calcium supplement study here.
Calcium and Vitamin D for Every Age
Calcium offers many benefits to the body. It is found in abundance in the bones and the teeth, but calcium is utilized every day and people lose calcium through the shedding of hair and nails, as well as through waste removal. Inadequate calcium intake would force the body to take calcium from the bones, leading to bone loss. This resource lists the amount of calcium people need according to their age and sex, offers a link to a calcium calculator, and mentions good sources of calcium. It also discusses the role of vitamin D in calcium absorption, how much vitamin D is needed by the body, good sources of vitamin D, and the effects of vitamin D deficiency.
Can Calcium Supplements Affect a Calcium Channel Blocker Anti-Hypertensive Medicine?
"Women with essential hypertension, a profile of low renin (a kidney hormone), and lower blood calcium, are actually quite sensitive to dietary salt," this article says. But it notes that their blood pressure lowers when they take calcium supplements and with taking calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine. This site discusses other dietary changes that can improve heart health.