Archive for the ‘Calcium’ Category
Once again we have been treated to statisticians mushing together multiple disparate previous studies to “prove” that calcium alone, or vitamin D alone, or both together in one of many different combinations will not prevent fractures. All mushed together in a carefully selected meta-analysis, you can prove anything depending on which studies are included.
More important, asking if adding a specific dose of calcium, or vitamin D, or both, will prevent fractures, misses the entire point. Most studies did not properly account for the nutrients in each day’s diet in individual test subjects – or in individual control subjects, many of whom also consumed the nutrients being studied.
And how can you ethically ask a patient to limit their diet in a way you believe will put them at risk for fractures? You have to settle for encouraging patients who are inadvertently short on some nutrients to improve their diet. But then they do not fracture and you cannot prove that they would have if only you had withheld the information!
We help individuals improve their bone health. One size does not fit all. We do a Complete Bone Health Evaluation. Then we adjust nutrition and lifestyle as needed for that individual. In about half of women and three-quarters of men, this is enough.
Jay Ginther, MD
Calcium is responsible for the stiffness and strength in bones. Calcium is what we measure when we measure Bone Mineral Density. Without sufficient calcium intake you cannot have strong bones.
Most people can absorb 500-600 mg Calcium at a time, if taken with food containing Protein. This only works if your Vitamin D level is high enough.
You need to consume 400-500 mg in each of 3 meals to reliably get 1200-1500 mg every day. This is necessary because most people will pee and poop and sweat out at least 1000 mg of calcium daily.
Calcium is best absorbed when eaten in foods.
You can Take Control Naturally with diet alone.
Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt are all high in Calcium, but amounts can vary. Check the label to see how many ounces are needed to make at least 200 mg. (Check “serving size” and remember that “20%” is 200 mg when dealing with calcium.)
Some vegetables are high in Calcium. One cup of cooked Collards, Black-eyed Peas, or 1.25 cups cooked or finely chopped Kale or Okra each have 200 mg. 4 cups of chopped Broccoli is 200 mg. Of course you can eat these raw, if you prefer.
If you do not get enough calcium in your diet alone, Calcium Supplements are needed.
Jay Ginther, MD
We recently saw yet another patient who longs for great bone health, but just cannot manage to eat dairy or take Calcium Supplements. This is a problem!
While the basic collagen structure of bone is protein, Calcium provides strength and rigidity. Without enough Calcium, your bones cannot be strong enough for daily activities.
You must take in about 1200 mg Calcium daily to offset normal losses in sweat, urine, and feces. (You need a high enough Vitamin D level to be able to absorb Calcium.) If you are over 50, or take medicines for heartburn, your supplement should be Calcium Citrate to be sure you can absorb it.
If you do not absorb enough Calcium daily, you must steal it from your bones. Chronically stealing from your bones makes them weak enough to break.
Our goal is to keep bones strong, avoid fractures!
You can Take Control Naturally. Start with Calcium.
Jsy Ginther, MD
We can get ALL of our Calcium from foods. We need 1200-1500 mg daily, especially if we have not been getting that much for years. Most of us have not been getting enough Calcium – or our Vitamin D levels have been too low to absorb all we cansume.
Your body can absorb only 500-600 mg of Calcium at each meal. Therefore you must spread out your calcium over 3 meals a day. Do NOT exceed 2,000 mg Calcium daily. Too much Calcium can be bad for kidneys or heart.
Chart of common foods high in Calcium in mg (adapted from the USDA website):