CALCIUM: The human body needs calcium for many reasons such as to build and maintain bones and teeth, blood clotting, the transmission of nerve impulses, and for the regulation of the heart’s rhythm. 99% of calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, while the remaining 1% is found in the blood and other tissue. People take in calcium through food and supplements, but if there is not enough calcium coming into the body from what an individual is eating, the body gets the calcium it needs by pulling it from the bones thinking that the used calcium will later be replaced. This does not always happen and bone destruction begins to exceed bone production in individuals not receiving enough calcium and physical activity, although this begins to occur with age as well. Osteoporosis is when the bones are weakened because of this imbalance between bone building and bone destruction. (Source: www.hsph.harvard.edu)
HEART ATTACK RISK: A study of 23,980 men and women in Heidleberg, Germany by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition found that individuals who use calcium supplements regularly are 86% more likely to have a heart attack than those that do not. Individuals that received their calcium solely from supplements were 2.7 times more likely to experience a heart attack. While calcium is important for several organs, including the heart, the study found that people should only take supplements when a medical need to do so exists and those with heart problems should be especially careful. It is important to understand, the calcium supplements do not cause the heart attacks but rather increases the risk of heart attacks. (Source: www.gaurdian.co.uk)
BEAT OSTEOPOROSIS WITHOUT SUPPLEMENTS: Certain people with severe osteoporosis problems will most likely still need to take supplements, but there are other things women and men can do to strengthen their bones and get the calcium they need without supplements.
- Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening, helps to prevent osteoporosis as well as help slow it down for individuals already experiencing it.
- Vitamin D, found in sunlight and milk, and vitamin K, found in leafy green vegetables, also help to slow the process of osteoporosis and keep bones healthy.
- Try to stay away from too much vitamin A, caffeine, soda, and protein since these tend to promote calcium-borrowing from bones and excretion of calcium in urine.
With these tips, plus eating calcium-rich foods, supplements will be unnecessary and the fear of a heart attack can be avoided. (Source: www.hsph.harvard.edu)