Calcium is a major building block of strong bones. In fact, 99% of the calcium in our bodies is found in the bones and teeth. Healthy bone density in adults and proper growth in children are signs that a person is getting enough calcium.

But did you know that calcium is critical for other important functions in your body?

Calcium—it’s not just for bones

Calcium is needed for muscle contraction and healthy blood flow. It supports the release of hormones and helps maintain healthy communication between your brain and other areas of your body. (1)

And here’s one for the ladies: Researchers have found that supplementing with calcium can reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. (2) One study contrasted PMS symptoms of two groups of women, one that received 500 mg of calcium twice a day, and one that was given a placebo. After 12 weeks, the calcium group reported decreased PMS symptoms of appetite change, fatigue, and depression. (3)

Reducing bone loss

Getting enough calcium is especially important for postmenopausal women because it may lessen bone loss. (4) In a large study of more than 36,000 postmenopausal women, investigators tracked the bone density of women who took 1,000 mg of calcium daily. They saw a 1.06% increase in bone density in the hip. It may not seem like a lot, but the scientists said the improvement was significant. (5)

Getting enough calcium

Your body doesn’t produce calcium, so you have to get it from your diet and supplements. If you don’t get enough, systems that need calcium will take some from the reservoir in your bones. This is a good failsafe so our bodies still function if we can’t get calcium for a short period. But if we regularly don’t consume sufficient calcium, our body will keep dipping into its calcium stores and leave our bones vulnerable.

Here’s a general guide to the amount of calcium you need each day: (6)

  • 8 years old and under 700-1000 mg

  • 9-18 1300mg

  • Adults under 70 1000mg

  • Adults over 70 1200mg

Word to the calcium-wise

One helpful thing to know about calcium is that, while critical for your health, more doesn’t

necessarily mean better. Excess calcium can build up in your body, which may cause health problems.

Assess how much calcium you’re getting from your diet. You may find a supplement [a]helps you get the optimal amount for your overall health.

Our bones are taking care of us in more ways than you may have thought, so let’s take care of them by getting the calcium we need.

Let’s get healthier, together,

Your friends at Santo Remedio

Referencias

[1] Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium; Ross AC, Taylor CL, Yaktine AL, et al., editors. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 2, Overview of Calcium. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56060 /

[2] Zafari M, Aghamohammady A. Comparison of the effect of Vit E, VitB6, calcium and omega-3 on the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a clinical randomized trial. Ann Res Rev Biol. 2014;4:1141–1149. http://doi.org/10.9734/arrb/2014/7503

[3] Ghanbari, Z., Haghollahi, F., Shariat, M., Foroshani, A. R., & Ashrafi, M. (2009). Effects of calcium supplement therapy in women with premenstrual syndrome. Taiwanese journal of obstetrics & gynecology, 48(2), 124–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1028-4559(09)60271-0

[4] Reid, I. R., Mason, B., Horne, A., Ames, R., Reid, H. E., Bava, U., Bolland, M. J., & Gamble, G. D. (2006). Randomized controlled trial of calcium in healthy older women. The American journal of medicine, 119(9), 777–785. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.02.038

[5] Jackson, R. D., LaCroix, A. Z., Gass, M., Wallace, R. B., Robbins, J., Lewis, C. E., Bassford, T., Beresford, S. A., Black, H. R., Blanchette, P., Bonds, D. E., Brunner, R. L., Brzyski, R. G., Caan, B., Cauley, J. A., Chlebowski, R. T., Cummings, S. R., Granek, I., Hays, J., Heiss, G., … Women's Health Initiative Investigators (2006). Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of fractures. The New England journal of medicine, 354(7), 669–683. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa055218

 [6] Ross, A. C., Manson, J. E., Abrams, S. A., Aloia, J. F., Brannon, P. M., Clinton, S. K., Durazo-Arvizu, R. A., Gallagher, J. C., Gallo, R. L., Jones, G., Kovacs, C. S., Mayne, S. T., Rosen, C. J., & Shapses, S. A. (2011). The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: what clinicians need to know. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 96(1), 53–58. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2010-2704 

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