Are You Getting the Right Calcium?

Are You Getting the Right Calcium?

Do you suffer muscle cramps or insomnia? Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis? Do you have vertical ridges on your nails?

If you have said yes to any of the above questions then you are most likely deficient in calcium.  Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It makes up 1.5-2% of the total body weight and the bones contain about 99% of this.  Not only does calcium play a major role in building and maintaining bones and teeth, calcium is also important in much of the bodies enzyme activity. The contraction of muscles, release of neurotransmitters, regulation of heart beat and the clotting of blood all depend on calcium.

But as is always the way not all calcium’s are the same and nor is everyone’s need for calcium equal.  Caffeine, alcohol, phosphates (found in fizzy drinks), high protein diets, sodium (table salt), aluminium containing antacids and sugar can all increase the excretion (loss) of calcium from the body.

The primary source of calcium is of course from our diet and it does not only come from dairy products as is often thought but also from foods such as soy, nuts, seeds (esp. sesame seeds), legumes, and vegetables all contain high doses of calcium.  But often we need a little extra help from a supplement and this is where the confusion comes in.

Not all supplements are equal and some are just completely useless.

Calcium carbonate is the most common sold form of calcium and is one of the hardest for the body to absorb; it can have an absorption rate as low as 4% in those with low stomach acid, whereas other forms of calcium such as calcium citrate, calcium hydroxyapatite, calcium lactate, calcium gluconate have absorption of about 45% in similar circumstances.  (Low stomach acid is used here as the worst case scenario).

Four points to look for when choosing a good quality calcium formula

  1. does not contain calcium carbonate
  2. contains magnesium and Vitamin D – essential for the absorption and assimilation of calcium into the bones
  3. contains lysine – increases uptake from stomach lining
  4. has boron – increases the bone building function of oestrogen, it can decrease body calcium loss by up to 50%, it is essential for converting Vitamin D into active form whereby it activates bone building components and interestingly,  a deficiency in boron inhibits the absorption of calcium

Remember no matter what calcium you come and choose make sure you take it at night as this is the best time for calcium to be absorbed and it also helps you to achieve a good calm night’s sleep. If you have any further questions on which Calcium is best for you don’t hesitate to drop in to Go Vita Nowra and ask our qualified Naturopaths in store.

Reference Hyperhealth

Copyright © I Gilmour 2013