Do you feel like you get enough calcium? We’ve always known that it helps build strong bones and teeth, but do you still need it after you’re grown? Perhaps surprisingly, calcium is extremely important in keeping you healthy!
Calcium is an important mineral that has multiple functions in the human body. Yes, we need calcium for strong bones and teeth. However, it’s also crucial for heart function and muscle contractions, and it plays an important role in helping blood clots form normally.
Where do you find calcium?
Surely you’re familiar with the milk commercials, but dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. You can also find it in leafy green vegetables, tofu, nuts, other foods, and supplements.
Scientists continue to study the benefits of calcium. Recent research contradicts some of the standard ideas about calcium and the human body. Are the latest studies about calcium and your health creating confusion?
Let’s look closer.
Consider these issues surrounding calcium and your health:
- Recommended daily dosage. One area of calcium confusion involves the recommended daily dosage. How much calcium do you need each day, and what sources should you use? The confusion stems from different studies showing different recommended amounts.
- Experts continue to argue about the recommended daily dosage. However, most believe that you need 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day. This amount can vary based on your health and individual needs.
- It’s recommended that you don’t go over 1,500 mg a day because it can lead to side effects.
- Too much milk. A study from BMJ found that too much milk can be harmful. They found that adults who drink more than three cups of milk a day are actually increasing their risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Researchers have found that drinking too much milk leads to oxidative stress in the body. This also increases the risk of cancer in adults.
- Bone health. Calcium is important for bone health, but it’s not the only mineral you need to stay healthy. Vitamin D is also important, and new studies show that it may actually be more essential.
- Recent studies have shown that taking calcium supplements doesn’t seem to help all patients. In fact, the risk of fractures didn’t decrease for the entire group in the study.
- A study, titled “Steingrimsdottir L. Relationship Between Serum Parathyroid Hormone Levels, Vitamin D Sufficiency, and Calcium Intake,” found that vitamin D is more important for bone health than calcium.
- Researchers found that, with high levels of vitamin D, patients didn’t need high levels of calcium to be healthy.
- Calcium sources. What is the best way to get enough calcium into your daily diet? Researchers continue to debate and create confusion about this topic.
- According to several studies, patients may not be able to absorb all of the calcium in a supplement. Experts suggest that patients use food as their source of calcium. However, this also creates questions about which food source is the most helpful.
- For years, the dairy industry has touted milk and other dairy products as the best sources of calcium. However, patients with lactose-intolerance and dairy allergies have to turn to other sources.
- You can also find calcium in salmon, collard greens, broccoli, kale, figs, oranges, white beans, okra, and soy products. Also, there are calcium-fortified foods such as granola, cereals, and other products.
- It’s important to find a source of calcium that you enjoy eating frequently. Try different foods until you find your favorite calcium source. Experiment with new foods and ideas that will help you get this important mineral.
Calcium is an essential mineral, and it’s not easy to get enough. However, following the latest research will keep you abreast of expert recommendations. For your best results, ensure that you eat a variety of foods that have calcium each day.