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Calcium helps prevent bone loss.


Calcium for a Healthy Spine:

In addition to playing an important role in the prevention of osteoporosis (porous bones), which can lead to fractures of the vertebrae, calcium helps to relax the muscles in your back and prevents muscle spasms.

Every cell in your body needs calcium. If you don't consume enough calcium, your body will withdraw it from your bones to keep the amount in your blood stream constant.

Calcium is a major component of bones. Adequate calcium intake is essential in preventing osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones gradually become porous and susceptible to fractures. The spine, hips and wrists are most affected by osteoporosis.

The daily requirement for calcium is 1000 - 1500 mg per day, depending on your age and sex. Your body can only absorb about 500 mg of elemental calcium at a time. Take enough to make up for the shortage in your diet. If you are taking a calcium supplement with a glass of milk (a cup of milk has 250 mg), the calcium supplement should only be about 250 mg.

Vitamin D is required for the utilization of calcium. Besides sunlight exposure, the only other way to get enough Vitamin D is through supplements or food that has been supplemented with vitamin D (Milk is usually fortified with vitamin D) or fish liver oil. You need 400 IU- 800 IU of vitamin D per day.

Increase Magnesium intake when Calcium intake is increased. Generally, the body requires double the amount of calcium as magnesium. Take more magnesium along with more calcium to prevent a calcium/magnesium imbalance. There are many supplements that combine Calcium, Magnesium, and vitamin D for a synergistic effect. Magnesium, like calcium, helps prevent muscle spasms.

*Soft drinks, coffee, and excessive amounts of alcohol interfere slightly with the absorption of calcium. Extra calcium can be taken to compensate for this.
*Antacids containing aluminum interfere with the absorption of calcium substantially.

Calcium supplements come in many forms. Some forms of calcium, usually calcium carbonate or calcium derived from shellfish, can cause stomach upset. Calcium carbonate is popular because it is the least expensive. Calcium citrate, calcium lactate, and calcium gluconate are usually well tolerated.

Taking calcium with a meal increases its absorption, as most forms of calcium require stomach acid to be absorbed. Calcium citrate can be taken any time, as it does not need stomach acid to be absorbed.

As important as it is to get enough calcium, calcium reduces the absorption of certain nutrients - iron and zinc in particular. It can also interfere with the absorption of certain medications. Take medications and iron separately for maximum absorption.

Calcium should be taken consistently, along with Vitamin D, to maintain bone health. Taking magnesium with calcium will prevent a calcium/magnesium imbalance.

*Calcium or magnesium may interfere with the absorption of certain medications. If you are on prescription medication, check with your doctor before taking any supplement.

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