Thursday, October 11, 2007


About 99% of calcium in the body is found in the bones. Despite an inadequate intake of calcium the body will still maintain a normal level- thanks to the bones! Calcium can always be added and withdrawn. If the calcium needs are not met the body will resort to the bones-not an option for bone health. Aside from its critical role in bone, calcium also functions in blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve-impulse transmission, and cell metabolism.

You might have noticed that milk is sometimes fortified with vitamin D. This is because calcium requires the presence of this hormone to ensure efficient absorption. The best source for vitamin D is sunlight. Even as little as 20 min in the sun can maintain vitamin D status.

Absorption of calcium is limited in the presence of some foods including caffeine, oxalate, phytate, and phosphoric acid (found in soda). Oxalate and Phytate are found in leafy green vegetables and inhibit the absorption of calcium by binding to it and excreting it from the body.

The recommendation for calcium is 1,000-2,000 mg/day. Dairy products are the best foods to eat to meet these needs. A glass of milk is an easy way to score calcium; a one cup serving contains 300mg! If you do not like milk or you are lactose intolerant try fortified orange juice; one cup contains 350mg.

Another option would be supplementing. Calcium supplements are sometimes poorly digested because they are not easily dissolved. To test for this, place the supplement in 3/4 cup cider vinegar stirring every five minutes. The tablet should dissolve within 30mins.

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