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Do You Need A Calcium Supplement?

Dec 30, 2010 10:21:52 AM / by staff

Calcium is not just important for helping children grow. It also helps adults protect against bone fractures, and when taken regularly throughout adulthood, can prevent osteoporosis in the elderly. To ensure strong bones when you get older, you need to make sure that you get enough calcium now.

Calcium is available in many foods including dairy products, dark green leafy greens and canned fish items such as sardines and salmon. However, it can still sometimes be hard to get the full RDA of calcium, especially if you are lactose intolerant, or pursue a vegan diet. If your diet does not provide as much as you need -- at least 1000 milligrams a day for women under 50 and men under 70 -- a calcium supplement can help you bridge the gap. Other people who should consider taking a calcium supplement include those who are at high risk for osteoporosis, those whose diets have excessive amounts of protein, and people who take corticosteroids for medical conditions.

There are some people who, for health reasons, should avoid taking calcium supplements. People who have a history of kidney stones are generally advised not to take calcium supplements because excess calcium in the diet can exacerbate the condition. There is also a medical condition called hypercalcemia that causes excess calcium in the blood stream.

If you currently get enough calcium from your diet, you should not take a calcium supplement. Too much calcium in your diet does not provide any extra protection for you bones, and can even cause medical problems such as kidney stones, constipation and prostate cancer.

If you have trouble with one form of calcium supplement, try one of the others. It is available in capsules, chewable pills, chewable sweets and liquid forms. Check with Dr. Waller in Rochester Hills, MI to see which supplement will suit you best.

Tags: Functional Medicine, Healthy Living

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