Calcium is one of the minerals that the general public knows a bit more about. Most people realize that adequate amounts of calcium in the diet is good for promoting the strength and health of bones and teeth. Women are told to drink milk or consume other high-calcium foods, particularly as they age, to prevent osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones.
There might be a lot, however, that the average person does not realize about this important mineral – including what other minerals make it easier or harder to absorb and what is the best time of day to take calcium supplements. This knowledge, however, is important if calcium supplementation is to be effective, so read on to find out about more about this amazing mineral.
Pure Calcium is Rare
Because of the chemical structure of calcium molecules, calcium is nearly always found in combination with other minerals. The most common forms of this are calcium sulfate, calcium citrate or calcium carbonate, which are frequently used in calcium supplements.
Sourcing is Important
Calcium can sometimes bind with other elements that no one wants in their body – the most concerning of which is lead, a toxic heavy metal associated with nerve damage and other health problems. Make sure that a calcium supplement has been sourced and certified to be lead-free before purchasing.
Cut Back on Sodas While Taking a Calcium Supplement
Sodas are rich in phosphorous and too much phosphorous in the body means that calcium will not be well-absorbed even when taken in proper amounts. This is yet another good reason to cut back on sodas in the diet.
Calcium is Lost During Sleep
Strangely enough, the body loses more calcium while someone is sleeping than it does when awake. Because of this, it is a good idea to take at least one dose of calcium in morning to help make up for the calcium loss the night before.
Small is Better
Taking smaller doses of calcium throughout the day appears to be more effective than taking a single large dose. Research has shown that the body can only absorb around 500mg at a time, so taking several doses of this mineral, spaced apart, appears to be a more effective strategy.
Men and Women have Different Calcium Needs
Because of the changes that take place in a women’s bodies during menopause, they need higher doses of calcium than men do to prevent osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, which can lead to a higher risk of fractures. Women should be taking around 1000mg daily, and 1,500mg after menopause.
While many people may not be aware of these guidelines, they are helpful to keep in mind. They can make calcium supplementation more effective and reduce chances of weakened teeth or bones for people of any age.
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