All That You Need to Know About Calcium and Calcium Supplements

Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body and is highly essential for good health. However, the number of patients with calcium deficiencies is increasing alarmingly. A lack of awareness about the causes is one of the primary reasons behind it.

Here’s all that you need to know about this mineral for your health.

Why Is Calcium Important?

You might already be well-aware of the importance of calcium for bones and teeth. But this isn’t all that this mineral is required for.

While its importance in the formation and maintenance of strong bones cannot be understated, it also has a role to play in the proper functioning of vital organs such as the heart as well as other muscles and nerves.

When combined with vitamin D, calcium is known for maintaining blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This is the reason why it is used as a primary ingredient in many antacids and diabetes medicine.

The Effects of Calcium Deficiency

It goes without saying that insufficient calcium intake will have severe effects on a growing child. Calcium deficiency in children leads to stunted growth as the bones do not fully develop. They are unable to reach their full potential height and often suffer from other ailments resulting from weak bones that are unable to support their weight.

Calcium deficiency that develops later in life leads to low bone mass that ultimately causes osteoporosis (a condition in which bones are easily bent and broken).

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

While infants require less than 250 mg per day, children aged between 1 and 8 need about 750 mg of calcium each day. For teenagers and adults, the ideal daily calcium intake is approximately 1000 mg whereas for senior citizens it should be over 1200 mg per day.

Calcium-Rich Foods

Following are some of the food items that are naturally rich in calcium.

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Figs
  • Beans
  • Seaweeds like kelp and wakame
  • Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, sesame and pistachio

When Do You Need Calcium Supplements?

People, who consume dairy items, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and overall follow healthy eating habits, are usually able to meet their daily calcium requirements through their regular diet. However, if you follow a strict vegan diet or are lactose intolerant and therefore, consume limited or no dairy products, then you will need calcium supplements to stay healthy.

Patients of osteoporosis require calcium supplements and so do people who consume large amounts of protein and/or sodium because this increases the excretion of calcium from the body.

Pros and Cons of Calcium Supplements

Calcium supplements ensure that you meet the daily requirements of calcium intake according to your age. Old people are mostly recommended to take calcium supplements on a daily basis to prevent various ailments and health issues resulting from calcium deficiency.

Calcium regulates muscle contraction as well as facilitates blood coagulation (clotting). It is also a co-factor for many enzymes in the human body, meaning that without calcium, important biological reactions cannot occur efficiently.

Did you know that studies have proven the role of calcium in lowering the risk of mortality? Patients under intensive care showed remarkable improvement within 28 to 90 days of administering dietary calcium.

Therefore, check whether you are getting enough calcium from your regular diet. Consult a physician to clear any doubts and consider taking calcium supplements if needed.

Healthy Aging: What it Means for your Bones

There are certain things about aging gracefully that everyone can love; finally using your savings to do what you love, retirement and grandkids. However, one thing that seniors don’t love is osteoporosis. Weak and fragile bones, using a cane or walker for walking and constantly monitoring what you eat can restrict you in old age.

According to a study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, the risk of developing weak bones increases 10-fold as people age. This also increases the risk of fractures.

So, how does one arrive at the stage of developing weak bones?

Three things that contribute to this include lack of exercise, unhealthy diet and low supply of calcium.

There are 4 ways in which bones are affected:

  • Osteoarthritis:the cartilage holding the joints together breaks, which causes stiffness and pain.
  • Osteomalacia:the bones get soft because of problems with metabolism and lack of Vitamin D.
  • Osteoporosis:the bones become brittle and lose mass, which causes more fractures.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis:the joints become inflamed.

Science and technology has made it possible for scientists to come with different treatments such as stem cell therapies, orthiobiologics and bioidentical hormone replacement. While these do help with joint and bone injuries, you need to focus on developing their strength at an early age.

Following are some tips that will help you achieve joint and bone health:

Keep an Eye on Your Weight

Around 29% of children in America are overweight. Excess weight causes hormonal imbalances, tension, stress and most harmful of all, deficiencies. The last factor affects musculoskeletal health and bone growth. This is what causes limited mobility in the future, which leads to diminished life quality.

When bones don’t grow with the strength they are supposed to, injuries become frequent. The healing process is slower, which causes the fracture and break to settle in. As you age, the pain and ache increases, and later becomes permanent.

Eat a Diet That’s High in Calcium

One word: milk!

Excess alcohol and caffeine consumption can lead to overall health deterioration. Why not switch these drinks with water and most important of all, it’s time you paid attention to the nutritional facts of the food you are eating. Eat a diet rich in calcium, which include foods such as yogurt, cheese, lentils, almonds, sardines, canned salmon and more.

Exercise

Just do it.

Have you ever looked at those Nike and Adidas ads and wished that you had the same strength? Vitamin D, calcium and exercise are the three foundations of bone health. Moderation is the name of the game, so try not to overdo it. Start with some stretches and power walking, proceed to a run and do take out some time to try yoga.

If you are not much of an exercise fan, then do those activities you love like swimming, playing badminton or dancing.

Now that you know how your bones will develop when you grow older, you need to give your lifestyle a second look. It’s time to make some important and big changes to make your life easy as you age.

Vitamin D and Improvement in Mood

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is one of the most important vitamins for your body. Unlike other vitamins that are found in food, it can only be absorbed by the human body via sunlight or through dietary supplements. The importance of maintaining a regular intake of vitamin D is essential for many reasons: heart health, healthy bone growth, and also mental health and well-being.

Vitamin D Basics

The vitamin best known for building bones is not limited to this one function. In fact, it is essential for maintaining your overall body and brain health. Optimal levels of vitamin D in your body can help boost your mood and improve your overall brain functions, while improving your well-being in general. The vitamin is involved in the healthy regulation of as many as 900 human genes.

Vitamin D Deficiency

People who do not have the optimal levels of vitamin D in their body are prone to certain cancers while also being highly affected by mood disorders and depression. There has been a strong link found between mood disorders and depression and the deficiency of vitamin D. It has been found that vitamin D tends to increase the level of serotonin in the body, the mood boosting neurotransmitter. This is perhaps the reason that the people with a deficiency of vitamin D in their body are often the victims of mood disorders and depression.

Recommended Daily Dose of Vitamin D

The current recommended daily dose of vitamin D is 400 IU. However, experts suggest that it is well below the actual physiological needs of this vitamin in most individuals. It is suggested that adults should take at least 2000 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis. It is also recommended that you undergo vitamin D blood test every 6 months to know where you stand.

Where to Get Vitamin D?

Sunlight

The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight for 10-30 minutes can boost vitamin D levels in your blood. In case you are not exposed to sunlight on a daily basis, consider buying a vitamin D lamp for your home or work to ensure you do not face a deficiency of the much-needed vitamin.

Supplements

If you are highly deficient in vitamin D, you should consult with your doctor and start taking a vitamin D supplement. Your health care consultant will advise you about the dose you need. You should start taking the supplements right away if you want to steer clear of the problems lack of vitamin D can pose to your body and mind.

Other Mood Boosting Vitamins

In addition to vitamin D, some other vitamins are found to help boost the mood. Omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, folate, magnesium, and B vitamins are found to help boost your mood. Chocolate and low glycemic foods are also mood boosters.

If you are always in a bad mood, consider getting your vitamin D levels checked to make sure you are not deficient

Calcium and Osteoporosis

There are 206 bones in a human skeleton which contain 99.5% of all the calcium in the body. The calcium present in the bones is available in case your body needs it for other purposes. Calcium is an integral part of well-being in humans and other animals. With the decrease in the levels of calcium in the bones due to any reason, the bones tend to weaken and can result in serious consequences.

Osteoporosis is one of the most common health issues faced by people today. It affects their mortality and morbidity. The intake of a proper amount of calcium is often overlooked by most of the people and even health care providers which lead to the weakening of our bones to the extent that the entire skeleton becomes vulnerable.

What is Calcium?

Calcium is a mineral that is needed by the body for maintaining good health. It is naturally found in some foods while can be added to others. You can also take your needed amount of calcium as a nutrition supplement available in different forms. It is best absorbed through the food we eat and the drinks we consume. If you are not getting the recommended amount of calcium intake, it can lead to the development of osteoporosis in your body.

Why is Calcium Important?

Bones are consistently being remodeled each day with calcium moving in and out of them constantly. In young age, the bone rebuilding process is faster than the rate of its breakdown, so there is an increase in the total bone mass in the body. This process continues until the age of 30. At this age, the rate of breakdown and formation of bones is almost equal. However, once you get past the age of 30, the rate of breakdown of bones increases as compared to their formation. This is very common among post-menopausal women. A diet low in calcium can contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

What Happens if the Body Doesn’t Get Enough Calcium?

Children require calcium to build stronger bones. Adults need it to maintain their bones. Inadequate calcium intake can lead to osteoporosis, also known as the brittle bone disease. The people suffering from osteoporosis are at a higher risk of breaking their bones, especially at the spine, wrist, and hip. The fractures take longer to heal and often lead to constant pain and lifelong disability. As many as 12 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. 25% of the women with osteoporosis often develop a vertebral deformity and 15% of them break a hip. As many as 30% of the people who break their hip die within a year.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

  • Breaking bones easily
  • Gradual loss of height
  • Stooped posture
  • Back pain

Preventing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can be prevented if you eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. In addition, reducing the intake of beverages containing alcohol and caffeine can also result in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. However, intake of the right amount of calcium is necessary to prevent osteoporosis.

Top Rated Professional Supplements (Part 2)

According to a registered consultant of the National Institute of Health (NIH) and dietitian, Carol Haggans, “Supplements are useful for filling the gaps between your diets.” In the US, more than half of the American population takes dietary supplements either occasionally or daily. Some of these common supplements include minerals, vitamins and botanicals (herbal products).

The reason why people take supplements is either because they are not able to keep up with their diet and the recommended vegetables and fruits intake or when they are suffering from some kind of disorder and have a deficiency. The point is, supplements are used for a various number of reasons and all of them have one outcome: a healthy and fit body.

Today, there are various supplements available online, which cannot be trusted. This is why we have come up with further more top rated professional supplements that you can get from a health care provider:

Allergy Research Group

Established in 1979, Allergy Research Group has come up with some ground breaking supplements. The oxidant/antioxidant work contributed by Ph.D. Stephen Levine introduced a truly hypoallergenic product line. The company uses pure ingredients in the making of all its supplement such as the Glandular products, which are derived from range-fed animals that are raised in Australia and New Zealand under strict government regulations. The Tocomin SupraBio Tocotrienol ranges of products are 100% kosher, non-soy, non-GMO and Halal.

Allergy Research Group has around 40 years of experience in making quality health care supplements, some of which are made for:

  • Gastric Support
  • Hormone Support
  • Immune Support
  • Eye Support
  • Metabolic Support
  • Stress Support
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Brain Support

Biotics Research

Established 40 years ago, Biotics Research has been providing clinicians and health care providers a steady range of quality supplements. The company uses a number of methods such as the sophisticated emulsification process that helps assimilate oily nutrients, creation of biologically active cultures to provide gluten-free, whole food and antioxidant enzymes, introduction of Coenzyme Q10 and more. All supplements produced under the name Biotics Research are done so according to FDA guidelines, which ensure that people are getting high-end supplements. Some of their product categories include:

  • Anti-aging
  • Brain
  • Detoxification
  • Eyes
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Lung
  • Immune Support
  • Inflammation

Professional Formulas

Established in 1985, Professional Formulas focuses on providing healthcare professionals with top quality natural medicines. The company goes to extraordinary lengths, just to guarantee the efficacy and quality of their products. All products are manufactured in a GMP-compliant and an NSF-certified facility. Moreover, for their homeopathic range of remedies, the company has its own FDA-registered facility.

The products offered by Professional Formulas helps provide 4 treatment plans with supplements, toxins, pathogens and allergens, condition and symptom remedies and, organ and system remedies.  There are also other specialized products, which address specific hormone and enzyme function and mind-body connection.

As said before, these supplements are very high-end products and are therefore provided only to health care professionals. So, head on over to the nearest health care professional and work on a treatment plan with these supplements as a part of your daily routine.

Top Rated Professional Supplements (Part 1)

Sometimes, keeping up with a healthy diet is not enough. There comes a time when your body requires more nourishment, which can only be achieved through supplements. There are thousands of supplements available online but choosing the right one is crucial to your health.

In the past years, the required intake of vegetables and fruits recommended by professionals has changed. According to CDC, one in only ten adults meets the required federal vegetable or fruit recommendations. This makes supplements a natural and cost effective way to boost the immune system and keep yourself healthy.

To help you get the best out of your supplements, we have found the top rated professional supplements that will help you live longer and healthier:

XYMOGEN

Founded in 2003, XYMOGEN has been transforming the lives of people. The company uses exclusive professional formulas to distinguish its supplements from other supplement brands. Provided to healthcare professionals, XYMOGEN is mostly prescribed, as they are a new generation of supplements and care must be exercised when choosing one for any illness. One of the reasons XYMOGEN is highly praised in the healthcare industry is because it not just provides supplements for the body but for the brain too through its line of supplements created specifically for neurological disorders. Following are a few of the supplements that offer support for:

  • Detoxification
  • Cell-Life Regulation
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Immune System
  • Relaxation and Sleep
  • Bone
  • Health
  • Blood Sugar

MARCO PHARMA

MARCO PHARMA was established in 1983 by a German Naturopath, Dr. Marx. He conducted seminars and lectures to teach healthcare practitioners how to administer German therapies. By 1991, MARCO PHARMA was well known in the US and thus began distribution of its supplements internationally. The supplements provided by MARCO PHARMA are advised by trained professionals who are leading authorities in acupuncture, homeopathy, Electro-acupuncture, herbal medicine, natural modalities, clinical ecology and a few other naturopathic disciplines. The company has 4 lines of different supplements, which include:

  • Homeopathic and Herbal Remedies: Supplementing and healing
  • Pacific Island Herbals: Allows you to produce vegetation in nutrient-rich soil, which gives you potent medicinal benefits
  • Ionized Trace Minerals: Development and normal growth, repairs and heals wounds and regulates the body’s absorption mechanism
  • Additional Homeopathic and Herbal Remedies: Proteolytic enzymes and other products that support the body’s functionality

Metagenics

Established in 1983, Metagenics has a unique approach to healthcare supplements. They came up with the revolutionary idea that genes are not the only driving force behind our health. This led them to create nutritional supplements that increase people’s quality of life. The company uses pure ingredients, which are gluten-free, non-GMO and vegetarian products. The six areas/functions of the body that their supplements help improve are:

  • Immune health and function
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Cardio metabolic health
  • Healthy blood glucose
  • Muscle, bone and joint health
  • Neurological

Along with health supplements, Metagenics also offers nutritional supplements, some of which are for:

  • Detox
  • Enzymes
  • Omega 3s
  • Probiotics
  • Ketogenic

Healthcare supplements provided by these companies are quite potent and therefore, are only offered to healthcare professionals. So, if you are playing to get on a healthy track to keep yourself fit, then visit the nearest healthcare professional and take advantage of these supplements.

Healthy Bones: Why and How?

From your diet to your age and your lifestyle habits, several things may affect bone mass.

When you are young, the bone mass increases and everything is well and good. However, things start to go a little downhill as you grow old. After 30 years of age, studies suggest that your bones start to lose mass more rapidly than they gain. And that can eventually result in a number of joint related problems.

You have probably heard of the condition “osteoporosis”. It is a medical condition in which your bones become brittle and doctors all over the world are reporting more and more cases where their patients are suffering from it.

Like we mentioned in the beginning of the article, that there may be several factors why you may suffer from poor bone health. Now the question comes what you can do about it?

Here are a few steps that you can follow to promote better bone health. We advise you to start early and not wait till you start complaining of feeling pain in your joints!

1: Increase the amount of calcium in your diet:

The role that calcium plays in promoting strong healthy bones is known to everybody. Hence, things like calcium supplements, milk, yogurt, kale, broccoli and other calcium-rich foods should make more appearances in your diet. Studies have also shown that gender is a major variable that directly influences your chances of getting osteoporosis with women likely being more prone to it.

Hence, if you are a female reading this post who is concerned about her bone health, you should pay more attention to your calcium intake.

2: Get more physically active:

Studies also suggest that people who remain more active and exercise on the regular are less likely to complain about bone related problems as they age. So if you want to have stronger bones, better put your trainers on and go for a run!

3: Limit your alcohol intake:

Did you know that if you consume more than 2 alcoholic drinks daily, you end up increasing your chances of getting osteoporosis? This may be because alcohol is known to create problems for your body’s ability to absorb calcium…which we know is the leading agent when it comes to healthy bones.

Hence, if you want to enjoy good bone health, you might want to keep tabs on the alcohol you consume!

4: Look into bone supplements:

With so many amazing bone supplements available on the market, you may also ask your doctor to prescribe you one that promotes good bone health. Bone supplements may be prescribed to people who may actually experience joint problems or have mobility issues already. In their case, those bone supplements then help relieve symptoms of joint pain.

While if you are somebody who does not necessarily experience joint problems as of right now, but you may be concerned (due to family history, lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking etc.) you can still ask your doctor to prescribe you a good bone supplement.