Information on Calcium Supplements

Do You Need a Calcium Supplement?

The consumer interest in calcium supplements continues to increase, as a growing number of people encounter the side effects of a calcium deficiency. More than 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, a bone disorder linked to a calcium shortage in the body.

What is Calcium?

Calcium is the essential mineral in your body that makes up bones and teeth, and keeps them strong and healthy. Your bones and teeth contain 99% of your body's calcium, with the remaining 1% occurring in your

blood and soft tissues where it is an essential component of various body functions such as blood clotting, muscle contraction, maintaining a regular heart beat and the operation of your nervous system.

How Does a Calcium Deficiency Occur?

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When your diet lacks sufficient calcium for the optimal functioning of all the different systems that depend on it, your body steals the calcium it needs from your bones, teeth and other tissues, and uses it for more essential tasks. As a result, the calcium level in your bones and teeth is reduced leaving them fragile and prone to damage.

Unfortunately, calcium deficiencies are very common in the general population. A 1996 study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that "virtually all Americans are deficient in calcium".

Can I Have Too Much Calcium?

Are there any side effects involved in taking calcium supplements? Is it true that they cause kidney stones? Research indicates that taking high doses of calcium over long periods of time can increase the risk of kidney stones. Another study has indicated that taking a lower dose of calcium can actually help prevent kidney stones. Therefore, people who suffer from this condition should be extra careful that they do not exceed the RDA value (1200 mg).

Calcium Rich Foods

Even though milk and dairy products contain calcium, these products are highly processed and can cause more damage than good. There are better calcium sources available that promote health without introducing unnecessary additives into the body.

Other sources of calcium include: soybeans, tofu, peanuts, walnuts, kale, broccoli, sardines, and salmon.

Choosing Calcium Mineral Supplements Wisely

Since most adults do not consume sufficient amounts of calcium in their daily diet, a calcium supplement is often necessary to promote general health.

Here are some tips and precautions to help you find the best calcium supplement.