WHY YOU NEED CALCIUM

Your body contains roughly two pounds of calcium, about 99 percent of which is locked into bone. Think of calcium as the mortar that cements and solidifies the components that give bone its substance and strength. The rest is dissolved in your blood and the fluid inside and outside cells. That dissolved calcium helps conduct nerve impulses, regulates your heartbeat, and controls other cell functions. Like an obsessive remodeler, your body constantly builds up and tears down bone. Early in life, building up dominates. Throughout midlife, the two processes generally balance out. Later on, though, demolition may outpace construction and lead to weak or broken bones. Many factors influence bone remodeling. Putting a bone under repeated stress—say, the stress of lifting a weight or carrying a body at a trot—triggers growth. Lack of stress— meaning little or no physical activity—leads to degeneration. Sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone stimulate bone-building activity. It is the chaotic rush of these hormones during puberty that sets off an adolescent’s growth spurt. Their loss later in life—a gradual ebbing away in men, a more abrupt cessation in women—shifts the balance toward bone loss, a shift that can be sudden and dramatic in women. The amount of calcium available to bone-building cells (called osteoblasts) also influences bone remodeling, as do the amounts of vitamin D and vitamin K. But as I will describe shortly, exactly how much calcium you need each day is a very open question.
Osteoporosis is usually portrayed as a woman’s disease. But it also affects men. Men enter adulthood with stronger, denser bones than women, and they never face the sudden bone-draining loss of estrogen that occurs with menopause. This gives men a five-to-ten-year hedge against osteoporosis, but not lifetime protection.

In this article from the Food Properties section, we take a look at all the necessary information about this topic. Stay with 4teenweightloss .

calcium

BEYOND BONE

Although calcium’s main activity is related to bone, it plays other roles in maintaining good health.
• Colon cancer. Over the past two decades, studies of different types and sizes have indicated that increasing intake of calcium from milk or supplements offers modest protection against colorectal cancer. Megadoses aren’t necessary—most benefits accompany the intakes seen in a reasonable diet, around 700–800 mg of calcium per day.
• Blood pressure. A calcium-rich diet, or taking calcium supplements, can lower blood pressure. Although the effect is relatively small for most people, it may be enough to forgo medication or reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Getting enough calcium may also help stave off the gradual rise in blood pressure that tends to come with aging.

learn more: You Are What You Drink

• Weight loss. Ads for the “got milk?” campaign have touted milk’s ability to help people shed pounds. “Drinking three glasses of milk daily when dieting,” they say, “can help you lose body fat while maintaining muscle mass.” That’s a bit misleading. Scientific studies in rats and people link consuming dairy products with weight loss—if calories are scaled back, too. It’s the eating less, not the calcium, that’s important. Not surprisingly, calcium supplements don’t affect weight.

learn more: Calcium: No Emergency

CALCIUM REQUIREMENTS ARE UNCLEAR

Although you’d never know it from the “got milk?” milk- mustache ads, no one really knows the healthiest, safest amount of dietary calcium. Different scientific approaches yield different estimates, so it’s important to consider all the evidence.

WHY YOU NEED CALCIUM

One good starting place is to look at the connection between calcium intake and fractures in different countries. Around the world there’s a huge variation in average daily calcium intake, from 300 mg/day in India, Japan, and Peru to 1,300+ mg/day in Finland and some other Scandinavian countries. Curiously, countries with the highest average calcium intakes tend to have higher, not lower, hip fracture rates . There are also important differences in physical activity levels, sunlight, and other dietary factors that could obscure the real relationship between calcium and fractures.

source: www.healthline.com

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