The human body contains nearly three pounds of total calcium, about 99 per cent of which is in the bones. Throughout life, bones are in a constant state of reformation as calcium is continually removed from and re-deposited in the bones. Adequate levels of calcium are needed every day to ensure that bone mineral density is maintained. If people don’t get enough calcium from their diets, the body will take it from bone structure, resulting in a net loss of bone calcium.
In addition to maintaining healthy bones, calcium is critical to retaining normal nerve conduction, muscle contraction, blood clotting, cell division, and electrical conduction in the heart. It’s also essential for producing and activating enzymes and hormones that regulate digestion, energy, and fat metabolism.
In the past several years, the definition of osteoporosis has changed. Once defined as a disease causing thin, brittle bones prone to developing fractures, it’s now defined as reduced bone density or strength, or the real risk of fracture. Fractures are a result of thinner bones that are unable to repair themselves in response to normal stresses and strain. This is caused by malnutrition, nutritional imbalances, drug therapies, inactivity, and stress.
To prevent osteoporosis, it is critical to maintain adequate calcium intake. Regular exposure to sunlight is required to stimulate the production of Vitamin D, however, we must supplement Vitamin D to maintain optimal levels.
It’s important to reduce calcium-draining habits such as consuming coffee, soft drinks, refined sugars, and processed foods and to maintain appropriate levels of exercise. Exercise will also develop co-ordination, strength and balance, all of which can help prevent falls as a person ages.
Taking a high quality calcium supplement properly balanced to include magnesium and vitamin D are a comprehensive aid in the maintenance of healthy bones.
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