Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is needed for the normal development and maintenance of the skeleton as well as for the proper functioning of neuromuscular and cardiac function. It is stored in the teeth and bones where it provides structure and strength.
If you don’t get enough Calcium in your diet, or you can’t absorb it properly, your body takes the Calcium it needs from your bones. Over time, this causes loss of bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis causes your bones to become brittle and they can easily brake. The condition is very common in Australia, particularly in people over the age of 60.
In aging adults, particularly among postmenopausal women, bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis over time. Factors, such as adequate Calcium and Vitamin D and weight bearing exercise, play a preventative role.
To absorb Calcium, your body needs Vitamin D. Regardless of your Calcium intake, if you don’t get enough Vitamin D, you will have trouble absorbing Calcium and keeping your bones healthy. The best Calcium supplement will often contain Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin K and Vitamin D in the formula.
You are most at risk of Calcium deficiency and osteoporosis if you:
- Have a restrictive diet
- Are vegetarian or vegan
- don’t get enough Calcium in your diet
- have low Vitamin D levels
- have certain medical conditions, such as Coeliac or kidney disease
- take steroids for a long time
- eat a diet high in certain plant nutrients (phytates and oxalates)
- consume a lot of caffeine or alcohol.
Natural Calcium supplements come in the form of Calcium tablets, Calcium powder and liquid Calcium.
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