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Does Calcium Really Build Strong Bones?

Aug 17, 2007
Our body needs calcium, there's no denying it. But do you know what you need it for? This is the question that needs to be answered. The body requires the regular intake of calcium to keep the bones and the teeth healthy. The bones require calcium to remain strong, support the body structure and to protect the organs of the body. In case of deficiency in calcium, osteoporosis sets in. Simply put, osteoporosis is a gradual degradation of the bones for want of calcium.

Sources of calcium
Calcium is very essential in maintaining the health of the bone and teeth and there are quite a few foods that are rich in calcium. These foods must be consumed on daily basis to get the required quantity of calcium. Calcium rich foods include: milk, milk products such as cheese, butter, and few vegetables. Tofu, wheat bread, apricot, rye bread, broccoli and cottage cheese do contain good quantity of calcium. Most nuts and cereals also contain calcium in sufficient quantity.

One important factor regarding calcium absorption is the requirement of vitamin D. If you are not getting enough vitamin D from your diet or from the sunlight, you will not properly absorb and use the calcium you get, even if you get an abundant amount of calcium.

Calcium may also be consumed in the form of calcium supplements. Daily consumption of a simple antacid fortified with calcium can help keep the teeth and bone strong and healthy. However, before turning to supplements, every attempt made to consume required quantity of calcium through diet is worth the effort. The important thing to note here is that your required amount of calcium should not be received from supplements alone. Healthy foods rich in calcium, if not providing enough, can be taken with calcium supplements to fulfill the body's daily calcium requirement.

Need for calcium
Growing children require more calcium than the average adult. How can the children grow taller without proper bone growth? How can the bones grow without the help of the calcium and vitamin D? Bone is a mixture of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and other minerals. Deficiency of calcium or vitamin D will result in diseases like rickets and children affected by this disease may be prone to many other health hazards as well.

The calcium requirement differs at different stages of the life. At some stages the requirement of calcium is more. For example a pregnant women requires more calcium. This is for the development of bone of the baby in the womb. Likewise the lactating mother too requires more calcium than the ordinary women because calcium will be utilized for the milk production. As mentioned earlier the growing children will also need more calcium than the adult man as the bone mass will keep on growing.

Calcium Source for those who have milk intolerance
There are few people who cannot digest milk due to a lack of enzymes that help aid the digestion of milk. As a result, these lactose intolerant people feel sick soon after drinking milk or dairy products. Lactose intolerant people should consider taking calcium lactate supplements to get the calcium they need.
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