benefits of calcium

Calcium: The Good and The Bad : Tips to Prevent Bone Loss in Adulthood

Calcium is one of the most important minerals that are vital for bone growth and density throughout human life. However, a recent study regarding excess calcium’s bad effect for health has created the necessity regarding awareness of its right doses for different individuals. This denotes that the benefits of calcium vary depending on its doses and way of consumption.

Since a child take birth the necessity of calcium arises as it boosts the growth and development of bone existing throughout the body which is the ultimate reason for the length and height of any child.

This is the reason in the very initial stages of life more concentration should be given on calcium intake otherwise if your bones remain weak in this point of life, then after the 30s when bone growth rate reduces it can cause weaker or thinner bones after that, resulting in osteoporosis, a bone-related health concern may develop.

However with healthy calcium-rich diet intake such as milk (bigger source of calcium), green leafy vegetables, beans etc. in the very initial period of life one can ensure healthy and developed bones which prevents the concern of osteoporosis that occurs in the lack of calcium in body mostly after the age of 50 in women (post-menopausal state) and after 70 in men.

Calcium not only supports the bone growth but it is also responsible for other functions in the body such as muscle contraction, blood clotting, nerve impulse transmission, etc. 99 % calcium in the body exists in bones and teeth and remaining 1% exists in the bloodstream.

The regular food intake where from your bone derives the necessary amount of calcium which is important for the growth and repair process of bones is continues whole life i.e. bone growth and damaging.

However after the age of 30 due to a reduction in the production of important hormones such as estrogen in women and testosterone in men and some other factors including lack of physical activity, genetic effect, etc. the calcium deposition process is decreased. Also, only food intakes are then not enough to derive the necessary amount of calcium.

The scarcity of calcium in the body after the age of 30 can be fulfilled through calcium supplements which fulfill its necessity. These supplements are full of calcium doses that ensure to fill the requirement of calcium mineral in your bone for its density and growth.

However, regarding additional sources of calcium doses such as calcium supplement, should be taken only by consulting with the doctor as excess calcium intake is no way good for health. More than the adequate level of calcium in the body can cause many severe health concerns like heart diseases and some type of cancer and even loss of bone density.

When Calcium is Good for Health

benefits of calciumAn adequate or appropriate level of calcium is good for bones health and for other primary function of the body. You can obtain the necessary amount of calcium through healthy diet intake which is rich in this mineral. As per the doctors, a good combination of calcium diet with a combination of Vitamin D can enhance bone mass and prevent the concern of osteoporosis.

Some natural sources of calcium that are good for everyone’s health include milk, yogurt, leafy green vegetables, soya beans, salmon, seeds, almonds, tofu, nuts, bread made with fortified flour, etc.

Apart from these natural sources of calcium, you can fulfill the scarcity of calcium in your body in the supplement form which remains rich in calcium mineral. However, while taking calcium supplements you need to take care of its doses for obtaining its best effect for health.

A human body can absorb the maximum amount of calcium through calcium-rich foods. So considering it as the best and the safest source, the diet intake should be given a priority. However, people who are unable to absorb calcium from food sources are getting a victim of calcium deficiency diseases such as hip fracture, osteoporosis, etc. should rely on calcium supplements.

After menopause stage women’s body unable to produce the necessary level of calcium due to low production of estrogen hormone in the body so they should take calcium supplements in order to fulfill this scarcity.

In men also after the age of 60 due to the dropping of testosterone hormone level bone weakness and other bone-related concerns arises in the lack of adequate calcium in the body. Also, low body weight people remain at the risk of developing osteoporosis and hip fracture so they should also take necessary calcium doses either in diet form or through supplements.

Though higher doses of calcium are correlated with heart diseases risk still when you have it in a healthy form it boosts your heart health. Apart from that, it controls your cholesterol level, blood pressure, helps in muscle contraction, nerve cells communication, and muscle contraction.

When Calcium is Bad for Health

We cannot deny the numerous health benefits of calcium for health and especially for bones health as it maintains and helps in the growth process of bones throughout the body. However, along with its good part, it comes with some risks too if it is taken more than its adequate doses for a person’s body.

An excess dose of calcium especially when taken in the supplement form can cause major heart-related concerns. It is proved in a study conducted in the US that people who rely primarily on calcium supplements have a greater risk of plaque buildup in arteries, stroke and other heart diseases.

However this risk is associated with calcium supplements only, dietary sources of calcium are always considered safe. This particularly happens because when calcium is taken in the supplement form it doesn’t excrete fully and gets stuck into soft tissues which further affect the vascular system and heart health.

99% of body calcium exists in bones and teeth which are called good calcium and the remaining 1% of calcium exists in blood, fluid between cells and in muscles which are considered by doctors as bad calcium because it can take the form of plaque in arteries and develops in to calcification in soft tissues of different body parts.

Breast calcification is one of the examples of bad calcium accumulation that primarily occurs in women after their menopause stage. However, the bad calcium deposit concern is no way associated with the healthy calcium-rich diet intake.

This means coronary heart diseases which occurs due to plaque in arteries is primarily affected by bad calcium accumulation in arteries that obstruct the normal flow of blood in veins. Also, it raises the cholesterol level, sugar level, and blood pressure level.

Middle-aged people remain at high risk to get affected by this coronary calcium concern because of age-related factors along with other factors such as if the person is a patient of diabetes, hypertension, previous family history of heart disease, sedentary lifestyle, smoking habit, etc.

Tips to Prevent Bone Loss in Adulthood

Though bone loss health concern is associated with adulthood as it is likely to develop with age as bone build-up process is reduced than the bone loss process in the body, still it can be controlled and prevented by applying some effective plans and strategies. Some effective bone loss preventive strategies are mentioned below:

Get Adequate Calcium Intake

Getting an adequate amount of calcium intake in regular meals prevents the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in the adulthood age. As milk and other dietary products are considered as the healthy source of calcium so these should be included as important part of the meal in the teenage stage when bone formation and growth functions remain in its peak.

However, one conflict still exists regarding the adequate size of dietary calcium intake for different ages of people because as of the date no single research has claimed for any recommended amount of dietary calcium for a different age group.

In spite of that, the National Academy of Science has established the maximum calcium retention power of bones in one of its studies. The MCR study reflects the maximum value of calcium that can be given to bones for different age group people. As per this data, the calcium intake level is as below for different individuals:

  • Age group 19 to 50- 1000 milligrams/day
  • Age group 50 and above- 1200 milligrams/day
  • Pregnant and Lactating women- 1000 milligrams/day

However, this maximum calcium retention study has several limitations which don’t establish it as ultimate calcium intake level. This study doesn’t consider the long term effect of this calcium intake on bones health and other body functioning.

Also, it is found that people who used to take this much calcium at their different ages get a victim of hip fracture and other bone-related concerns in their adulthood. On the other hand, people who used to consume less calcium than the mentioned level in the aforesaid studies along with Vitamin D, don’t develop osteoporosis because they lead a healthy and lifestyle with regular exercise and other important aspects.

Another thing which came into the picture after this study that people who solely concentrated on their calcium intake without having Vitamin D along with calcium are on greater risk of bone weakness and damaging in their adulthood.

All these loopholes of this study demand for further deep studies in order to come in a definite point. However, we cannot deny the fact and importance of dietary calcium for bone growth and overall health. So calcium-rich diet must be taken as an essential part of the meal but in a restricted form.

Get Adequate Amount of Vitamin D

Just like dietary calcium, Vitamin D also put an emphasis on the bones growth and for preventing the risk of developing osteoporosis in the adulthood age. The Sun-rays is the vital source of Vitamin D, apart from that every individual should ensure that their body is getting enough level of this vitamin through different sources.

Milk is an important dietary source of Vitamin D apart from that it can be taken through the vitamin supplements too. The role of Vitamin D is no way less than the calcium for maintaining the bone’s health.

The necessary level of Vitamin D protects your body from severe health hazard that is quite likely to develop in the situation of sudden drop of calcium level in blood. In this situation, your body starts converting Vitamin D into the active form that increases calcium absorption in the blood and reduces calcium loss through urine.

Another natural and big source of Vitamin D is sunlight where your body absorbs Vitamin D through sunlight. However, sunlight exposure for getting Vitamin D varies season wise and inclination of sun’s rays. In this regard overexposure of sun rays should be avoided as it carries the risk of skin Cancer growth due to the harmful UV rays of sun especially in summer time.

For preventing hip fracture and the danger of osteoporosis, as per the doctors the effectiveness of calcium for bones health increases when Vitamin D is combined with dietary calcium intake.

Vitamin D supplements are beneficial for older age people as it reduces the range of fall in adulthood by strengthening their weaker bones. Another study says that 700 to 800 IUs Vitamin D is beneficial for preventing osteoporosis. So by taking some multivitamin that carries 700 to 800 IUs Vitamin D every day one can reduce the risk of osteoporosis in adulthood.

Get Adequate Amount of Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps to improve bone density and regulates calcium level in the body which prevents the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in both men and women. You can easily get this vitamin through regular intake of green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, lettuce, collard greens, etc.

As per the report of American health journal women who consumed 110 micrograms of vitamin K intake in a day have a very lower risk of developing hip fracture than those who get less intake of vitamin K in a day.

Vitamin K helps to improve bone mineral density and strengthen the overall body’s bones healthy. For preventing the bone loss risk in adulthood men should consume at least 120 micrograms and women should consume 90 micrograms of Vitamin K intake every day in one or two serving.

Get Adequate Amount of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the most essential vitamin nutrients for the human body. Out of its several health benefits, its importance for bones health is a vital one. It helps in borrowing and redeposition process of calcium in bone.

For preventing the risk of bone loss in the adulthood age Vitamin A supplementation can play an effective role by improving the bone density. However, regarding vitamin A intake you should be aware that a very high performed vitamin A can lead to bone fracture.

So avoid those multivitamins which have a high concentration of too much-performed vitamin A. Instead prefer those multivitamins supplements which contain vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene which remains quite secure and doesn’t promote the bone fracture risk.

Exercise Everyday

Physical exercise or workout is not only important in the initial stages of life but it keeps you fit and healthy even in your adulthood. Regular fitness activities whether it is moderate or intense form maintain your bone density and reduces the risk of hip fracture and bone loss even you get older.

Regular light physical activities are enough to keep your bones mobilized which improves its density makes it stronger and healthier. Simple walking, jogging, running, stair climbing and light household works like house cleaning, dusting, etc. form an important part of your regular fitness activity. Apart from this, you can perform other heavy workouts as per the body’s capacity on an interval.

Reduce Caffeine and Soda Intake

It is found in some studies that people who drink lots of coffee drink in a day, approx. three to four times have a greater risk of bone loss in their adulthood. This particularly happens because caffeine tends to excrete calcium through urination process which increases the risk of bone fracture.

Just like caffeine soda or cola intake is also harmful to bones health especially in the old age women. It is found in one study that aged women who drink one cola in a day soon develop bone related concerns like bones loss or osteoporosis. On the other hand, women who drink only one cola in a month in their old age have very less risk of loss of bone density.

This particularly happens because cola has a very high concentration of phosphorous which alters the dietary balance in the human body by misbalancing the calcium level in bones resulting in bones get weaker.

The overall discussion of calcium mineral for bones health implies that most of the bones related concerns occur because people are not very much aware of the goodness and bad effect of over-consumption of calcium in the form of supplements. However, everyone can obtain the benefits of calcium by consuming its adequate doses and can prevent the risk of osteoporosis or bone loss in adulthood.

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