Coral Calcium FAQ'S
Calcium is an essential nutrient your body needs every day. You
may already know that it helps build and maintain healthy teeth and
bones. Calcium is key to keeping your body running
smoothly. Because your bones are made from calcium, if you do
not get enough from your daily diet, your body will "steal"
the calcium from your bones to make up the difference. Over the
long run this can reduce your bone strength and lead to osteoporosis,
a potentially crippling disease of thin and fragile bones.
Osteoporosis can make your bones so weak, in fact, that they can
break with a firm handshake. Because people often do not get enough
calcium from their diets, osteoporosis is now a major health concern
and one of our most common diseases, affecting over 28 million
Americans. To avoid this you can make smarter choices about
what you eat. Add calcium-rich foods such as low-fat dairy
products and broccoli to your daily diet. If you cant get
enough calcium from your diet, you can add a calcium supplement.
At what point in life do I need calcium?
Your need for calcium starts even before you are born and extends throughout your lifetime. However, most people today are consuming fewer dairy products and vegetables that are calcium-rich. The most recent government survey of the
eating habits of Americans confirms that most people are not getting
enough calcium. Teenagers, young women and post-menopausal
women in particular are consuming far less than is healthy and less
than their body's need. On average, if youre not drinking
three glasses of milk per day, youre not getting enough.
From birth until about age 18, bones are forming and growing. Calcium
is essential to this process. Thats why breast milk and infant
formulas are rich in calcium. As children grow, it is equally
important that their diet remain calcium-rich. Unfortunately,
the calcium intake of most Americans peaks at age eight. During
late adolescence, through young adulthood, adult bone is formed and
reaches its maximum strength and density. Bones continue to
accumulate calcium and become stronger after we have stopped
growing. The calcium that you provide to your bones when you
are young determines how well they will hold up later in life. By age
35 your bones are about as strong as they are ever going to be.
How can I increase my calcium intake?
No-fat or low-fat dairy products provide the easiest, most plentiful
sources of calcium in the diet. Add broccoli, kale, and salmon,
especially with the bones included, to your diet. Many
processed foods are now fortified with calcium, including fruit
juices, snack foods and breakfast cereals. You might find the easiest
way to get the daily calcium you need is to make changes in your diet
and take a calcium supplement.
Are there any problems I might have taking calcium?
Its very difficult to get too much calcium. Any excess which
the body cannot use is excreted from the body in the urine and stool.
Daily consumption up to 2,500 mg has been shown to be safe. If
you experience constipation or gas from calcium, your body may be
adjusting to the new levels of calcium. If this happens, try starting
with a small amount and build gradually to an adequate daily amount.
Does calcium supplementation cause kidney stones?
Additional calcium intake may actually lower your risk for kidney
stones. The largest study ever conducted on calcium and kidney stones
showed that daily calcium intake above 850 mg decreased the incidence
of symptomatic kidney stones. Reducing your intake of dietary
oxalate, a substance found in wheat bran, rhubarb, beets and nuts may
also lower your risk of stones. The most important dietary
factor in preventing kidney stones is water. Drink plenty of
fluids, but not soft drinks, to help lower your risk for stones.
Keep taking your calcium. Restricting calcium intake could
increase the risk of stones.
Should I take Vitamin D with a calcium supplement?
Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium. Unlike
calcium, however, vitamin D can be stored by the body for extended
periods of time so it does not have to be taken with your calcium
supplement. Vitamin D is available from fortified dairy
products, cod liver oil, fatty fish, and is manufactured by the body
in reaction to sunlight. Generally, about fifteen minutes of
direct sunlight per day gives you the vitamin D you need.
When should I take a calcium supplement?
If you arent getting enough calcium from your diet, you need to
take a calcium supplement every day with meals. Try to take your
calcium supplement in divided doses throughout the day. The body can
absorb only so much calcium at one time, so try taking your
supplement with two or three of your meals each day.
Is there calcium in my multi-vitamins?
Maybe, but not much. Even in the case of prenatal vitamins for
pregnant women, the calcium content may not be enough to meet the
daily demands of the mother and growing baby. A multi-vitamin may
provide nutrients and vitamins that your body needs, but if your diet
is low in calcium, you need to take a special calcium supplement.
Do antacids interfere with calcium absorption?
No. Although stomach acid is necessary for some forms of
calcium to be absorbed into the body, antacids do not interfere with
this process. Calcium supplements taken with meals find enough
stomach acid for full absorption.
Does calcium help during childbearing?
No matter what age a woman is when she becomes pregnant, calcium is
very important to both the mother and the baby. Calcium from the
mothers body is used by the developing baby, putting increased
demands on the mothers supply. Additional calcium should be
consumed for both the mothers and babys health.
Based on an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association there is evidence that increasing calcium intake can help
maintain normal blood pressure in pregnant women. Pregnancy-induced
high blood pressure is a serious complication that can put both
mother and child at risk.
Does calcium affect menopause?
When a woman enters menopause, her body produces much less of the
female hormone estrogen. Loss of estrogen increases the risk of
osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones.
Bones become weak and fragile and can break easily. Thats
why it is so important to take steps to protect yourself from
osteoporosis by getting enough calcium every day.
Calcium by itself has been shown to prevent some bone loss after
menopause, and it definitely can help estrogen replacement therapy
work more effectively. Recent studies have shown estrogen plus daily
calcium is up to three times more effective in building bone than
estrogen alone! The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends
that women make certain they get adequate daily calcium intake to
make hormone replacement therapy and other prescription osteoporosis
medications work more effectively. Men are also vulnerable to
osteoporosis and need to consume adequate calcium through their older
years to prevent further bone loss and in their younger years to
achieve peak bone mass.