Osteoporosis – You Need More than Calcium
If you have osteoporosis, you probably know that you need calcium to keep your bones healthy. However not all sources of calcium are alike. In this article we will take a look at calcium, discuss how it helps you, and learn about the best ways to get it into your system. We will also explore other nutrients that you need to keep your bones strong.
What Does Calcium Do for My Body?
Calcium not only benefits your bones, it helps your entire body. Most people find calcium is free from undesirable side effects although some feel a bit of discomfort in their stomach right after taking the supplement. Calcium helps you to maintain a healthy blood pressure, and research indicates that it also reduces the incidence of colon cancer.
Calcium aids your digestion, regulates energy levels, and is relaxing to your entire body – try taking calcium at night and see if you sleep better. Calcium is needed to keep your teeth, heart and muscles healthy.
How does Calcium Help My Bones?
Calcium, in conjunction with other nutrients, helps to preserve bone mass. Healthy bones are heavy and dense, while bones affected by osteoporosis appear lacey or sponge-like inside. They are not as strong and are subject to fracturing. Preserving bone mass and strength is the primary function of calcium. Calcium prevents pain, injury, breakage, and deformity.
Fractures due to osteoporosis lead to debility. Fractured bones are a major cause of loss of independence among older adults. Complications such as pneumonia or blood clots may result if a fracture occurs. By making your bones strong, calcium can indirectly help you to live longer, be independent, and have a higher quality, comfortable life.
What Kind of Calcium Is Best?
Calcium comes in several forms. Some types of calcium are more absorbable than others. I recommend calcium citrate, gluconate, or lactate for maximum absorption without digestive discomfort. I do not recommend the use of calcium carbonate, coral calcium, bone meal, or dolomite calcium, nor do I suggest using antacids as calcium supplements.
- All calcium supplements are absorbed better when taken with food.
- While beginning to take calcium after a diagnosis of osteoporosis is identified is helpful, it is important that adequate amounts of calcium be taken throughout the lifespan.
- Obtain most of your daily supply of calcium from foods. Calcium supplements are just what they are called: supplements. Do not rely on them as your primary source of calcium
- It used to be thought that calcium from plant sources was not as readily absorbed as dairy calcium. Recent studies indicate that plant based calcium may be superior to calcium from dairy products.
Next page: healthy foods and herbs to eat for osteoporosis.