Who does not know that calcium is crucial for maintaining bone health all through the life! And although a nutrient rich and well-balanced diet is a great way to maintain optimal calcium levels in the body, calcium supplements may be a good alternative in case your diet falls short.
But, before you make calcium supplements India, a part of your daily diet plan, make sure you know how much calcium you need, benefits and side effects of best calcium supplements and what type of supplement to choose.
Calcium: Why Do You Need It
Your body requires calcium for building and maintaining strong and healthy bones. But, the benefits of this nutrient don’t just end there; calcium is also required by your body for supporting heart, muscle and nervous system functions.
Various studies suggest that calcium in combination with Vitamin D, may offer health benefits beyond bone health. This means that calcium may also help deal with high blood pressure and diabetes in a more effective way. But, it must be noted that evidences of all these health benefits is not yet definitive.
Understanding The Risks Associated With Calcium Deficiency
Getting too little of this nutrient can be dangerous for you. Anyone falling short of calcium can face numerous health problems, most of which would mainly be related to weak bones. Calcium deficiency may cause some serious health issues, such as –
- Children deficient in this nutrient may not be able to reach their full potential adult height
- Calcium deficient adults may suffer from low bone mass, which if left untreated, may lead to osteoporosis
Most people, on an average, do not get enough calcium in their diets. Surprisingly, children, especially the adolescent girls stand a greater chance of developing calcium deficiency. Aging adults too are at a greater risk of being deficient in this nutrient.
Planning To Take Calcium Supplement– How Much Do You Require?
The amount of best calcium supplement you should take mainly depends upon your age and gender. It should be noted here that the upper limit mentioned in the table below is the safe boundary for calcium and this is not what you should aim for. In case you exceed the upper limit, you may risk your health due to calcium toxicity.
Men Daily RDA Daily Upper Limit
19-50 years 1,000 mg 2,500 mg
51-70 years 1,000 mg 2,000 mg
71 and older 1,200 mg 2,000 mg
Women Daily RDA Daily Upper Limit
19-50 years 1,000 mg 2,500 mg
51 and older 1,200 mg 2,000 mg
Best Food Sources of Calcium
Although essential, calcium cannot be produced by your body. This makes it important that you get this nutrient through other sources. Calcium can commonly be found in a variety of food items, such as –
- Dark, green leafy vegetables, such as kale and broccoli
- Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt
- Fish comprising of edible soft bones, such as canned salmon and sardines
- Foods and beverages fortified with calcium, such as cereals, coy products, orange juice and milk substitutes
It should be noted that for maximum calcium absorption your body requires Vitamin D. There are a few food items that contain Vitamin D naturally; these include egg yolks and canned salmon. Vitamin D can also be gained from fortified foods and can be produced by the skin upon direct sun exposure. According to RDA, you should get a daily dose of 600 IU on a daily basis.
Calcium Supplements : Do You Need Them?
Even if you’re following a nutrient rich diet plan and are particular about only eating a well-balanced diet, you may still fall short of this nutrient, if –
- You are a vegan
- You are lactose intolerant and you have limited your dairy products intake
- Your sodium or protein intake is high, which causes your body to excrete more calcium
- You are suffering from osteoporosis
- You are suffering from certain digestive or bowel diseases, which decrease your body’s ability to absorb calcium
Under the above stated circumstances, it becomes necessary that you take best calcium supplement to overcome or eliminate the scope of calcium deficiency. Talk to your dietitian or health care provider to confirm whether you need calcium supplements India.
Choosing The Right Calcium Supplement
There are various types of calcium supplements available in the market, which are made from different calcium compounds. Each compound contains varying amounts of mineral calcium, which is commonly referred to as elemental calcium.
Some of the most common calcium supplements are labelled as –
- Calcium citrate, which contains 21% elemental calcium
- Calcium lactate, which contains 13% elemental calcium
- Calcium gluconate, which contains 9% elemental calcium
- Calcium carbonate, which contains 40% elemental calcium
Out of these, two main forms of calcium supplements include calcium citrate and calcium carbonate. Amongst these, calcium carbonate is the cheapest and therefore makes a first good choice.
In addition to the individual calcium supplements, there are certain supplements that contain calcium in combination with other minerals and vitamins. For instance, there are calcium supplements that contain magnesium and Vitamin D. So, before making a final purchase, make sure you read the supplement fact sheet to learn which form is calcium is present in that particular calcium supplement and what other nutrients it contains for optimal health results.