Calcium that is dissolved in body fluids serves many essential functions. A blood calcium less than 9.0 may indicate a deficiency of dissolved calcium in cells and tissues and may contribute to the following:
1. Increase dietary calcium. There are many non-dairy options.
1. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in bone and 99% of the body’s calcium is in bone. However, a 2007 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that calcium supplements do not reduce fracture rates in postmenopausal women and may even increase the rate of hip fractures. *
Frequency of hip fractures is the most accurate measurement of the effectiveness of any treatment for osteoporosis. It is a measure of bone strength. Bone Mineral Density (BMD), the most common way to diagnose and follow osteoporosis via DXA scans, does not measure bone strength.
2. Similarly, there is no evidence that increasing dietary calcium decreases hip fractures. However, increases in dietary calcium do not bear the risk of heart attacks that calcium supplements impose. A 2012 study of 24,000 men and women aged 35 to 64 years published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that those who used calcium supplements had a 139 percent greater risk of heart attack during the 11-year study period, but intake of food calcium did not increase the risk. *
3.Osteoporosis is an inflammatory disease, *
often apparent by a low tissue cholesterol
. Inflammation alkalizes tissues. Therefore, calcium from food and/or supplements is deposited in tissues and does contribute to bone strength or density. On the other hand, if there is an anti-inflammatory defense, usually apparent by high tissue cholesterol
, tissues are acid and calcium is lost in urine.
4. Supplemental calcium for osteoporosis increases
osteoporosis and osteoporotic bone fractures when there is concurrent low magnesium intake. Soil and consequently food do not provide sufficient magnesium. The average intake of magnesium is well below the RDA, especially for those over 50. Moreover, magnesium deficiency contributes to osteoporosis.
5. Many other minerals beside calcium, magnesium and phosphates are now known to be essential for bone health. These include but are not limited to zinc, copper, strontium, silica and boron. Rather than taking individual supplements of each mineral required for bone health a diet with a wide variety of foods is recommended and supplements with a full array of nutrients and minerals in a readily assimilable form.
What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010, determined the average dietary calcium intake of individuals 2 years and older is 1029 mg/day. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) **
for calcium is met except in three age groups for whom 1300 mg per day is recommended: 9-18-year-old boys and girls; women 51-70 and men over 71. It is best to calculate dietary calcium *
and increase if necessary to meet the RDA.
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