Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and you might think that’s because of the essential role it plays in building strong bones; calcium’s importance, however, goes beyond preventing fractures and osteoporosis. It also supports healthy functioning of the cardiovascular, endocrine, and nervous systems. Numerous studies have established a relationship between calcium intake, absorption and assimilation and a person’s risk for heart disease, colorectal cancer, kidney stones, PMS, insomnia, and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
Eating a wide variety of whole foods is the best way to get the calcium your body needs for growth, maintenance, and repair. Even though dairy products contain and are fortified with calcium, foods derived from cow’s milk may not be the best choice for many people because of allergies, intolerance and other digestive concerns. Other valuable sources of calcium include almonds, dark leafy greens, legumes, and and nuts such as almonds. Be aware that just because you’re consuming the recommended amount of calcium daily does not mean your body is absorbing and utilizing it properly.
Recommendations for a calcium supplement vary by age, gender, and development (e.g., puberty, pre or post-menopause), and are influenced by health issues, lifestyle habits and taking certain prescription medicines. Different forms of calcium (e.g., carbonate, citrate) are absorbed differently by the body. Check with your holistic health physician to determine if you need a calcium supplement, and which form and amount is best for you.
- Calcium: Linus Pauling Institute of Micronutrient Information http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/calcium
- MayoClinic.com “Calcium and Calcium Supplements: Achieving the right Balance.” Accessed 17 June 2018: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097
- Natural Healing: Prevent Illness and Improve Your Life. The Mayo Foundation for medical Education and Research (2017).
- Medline Plus: Types of Calcium Supplements https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007477.htm
- National Institutes of Health Consumer Fact Sheet https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007477.htm
- Zeng, Yawen et al. “Strategies of Functional Foods Promote Sleep in Human Being.” Current Signal Transduction Therapy9.3 (2014): 148–155. PMC. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440346/
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- How Well Does Calcium Really Protect Your Bones? http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-well-does-calcium-intake-really-protect-your-bones-201509308384