The Gift of Calcium

The Gift of Calcium

I recommend and take myself 5 daily supplements: probiotics, mulivitamin/mineral, fish oil, magnesium, and calcium.  The combined affect of these supplements has a synergistic affect in the body.  Take for example, calcium: without magnesium or vitamin D, its absorbability and utilization within the body decreases dramatically. 

Calcium is an important mineral for the everyday functioning of our bodies that we must get from our diet or supplementation. We lose calcium everyday through our hair, skin, nails, urine, and feces.  Its roles include regulating heartbeat; conducting nerve impulses; stimulating hormones, digestive enzymes and neurotransmitter secretions; building and maintaining bone health; clotting blood; and maintaining normal blood pressure.

Without an adequate amount of incoming calcium, our bodies will slowly deplete the stores located in our bones.  This is a must in order for the body to maintain normal biological functions. As we all know, this can lead to bone loss.  Low calcium intakes are also associated with high blood pressure, colon cancer, premenstrual symptoms, and even lead poisoning.

Osteoporosis
This is a common problem in the elderly and particularly in postmenopausal women due to decreased amounts of estrogen.  While it is normal for our bodies to donate calcium via our bones, prolonged low calcium intake leads to bone breakdown.  Contrary to popular belief, bone loss is not an inevitable process of aging.  Adequate calcium intake early in life combined with the proper lifestyle habits will lead you to a long life of strong and healthy bones.

PMS
A few studies have shown that women who take between 500 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day had fewer premenstrual symptoms, including irritability and cramping.

Cardiovascular Health
Numerous studies have shown that an increase in calcium lowers systolic blood pressure.  Calcium has also been proposed to help reduce cardiovascular disease riskby decreasing the absorption of fats in the intestines and assisting fat to move out of the body.  This in turn leads to lower cholesterol levels in the body and cells more readily available for calcium absorption.

Cancer of Colon and Rectum
Several studies have found that higher intakes of calcium from foods and/or supplements are associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer.  Although inconsistent, data from studies on the role of calcium in preventing colorectal cancer show a protective effect.  Again, this could be due to calcium’s ability to bind to bile and lipids in the intestines.  Calcium may also have a direct affect on inhibiting the cells ability to proliferate in the colon.

What better health insurance than a proactive approach to your health?  By making sure we intake an adequate amount of calcium, we can avoid common problems such as osteoporosis, premenstrual syndromes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. If we feed our bodies what they need, they in turn will gift us with health and longevity!

 

Resources:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1028455909602710http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12094610

Author
Adam Learner, L Ac. Adam Learner, LAc, provides functional medicine and acupuncture for the residents of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at Family Acupuncture & Wellness. In his practice, he uses a holistic approach to medicine and emphasizes addressing causes, not symptoms.

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