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Calcium Supplements Complete Information
aka calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, calcium phosphate
What Is Calcium?
Calcium has for ages been known as an important mineral for the growth as well as maintenance of strong bones. These functions need a persistent concentration of the compound within the blood. The development of calcium deposits in bone or bone mineral density peaks around 17 to 23 years old, with women peaking 2-3 years before guys. Many have theorized that supplementation can assist in attaining optimal peak bone mineral density and its maintenance throughout life.
Ironically, supplementation has also been implicated in fat loss and the prevention of obesity. There are ongoing studies to see if this is the case. Some research has shown supplementation does not improve weight loss.
What It Does
Apart from calcium intake, other diet and lifestyle options such as inactivity, smoking, and excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption will negatively affect growth of bone mineral density. The aging process, particularly for women following menopause, will exacerbate weakening of the bone throughout the body. There’s some evidence to imply that calcium intake can impact body composition and fat mass. Diets high in the compound have been proven to improve lipid oxidation and decrease fat absorption in the GI tract. There is conjecture that the compound can have an influence on appetite, decreasing food consumption and leading to weight loss.
Performance Gains For Athletes & Personal Fitness
Supplementation for sportsmen could provide protection against the development of stress fractures and enhance body composition.
Calcium can be beneficial in the prevention of stress fracture risk. However many other nutritional and lifestyle choices have significant impacts as well. Studies on the effectiveness of supplementation alone as well as together with vitamin D on declines in bone mineral density and risk of fracture have produced mixed results. In 2011 a meta-regression, which reviewed results from 15 randomized, placebo controlled trials including calcium with or without vitamin D supplementation, reasoned that calcium does affect the chance of break. Nevertheless, this reduced risk is not the effect of improved bone mineral density.
Assorted effects are also found related to weight loss. In 2009 scientists found supplementation (1200 mg perday of calcium and 10 mcg per day of vitamin D) decreased fat mass and assisted subjects with appetite control. What is interesting is that these researchers found supplementation was only effective in those with low dietary calcium intake (less than 600mg per day).
A 2012 study found supplementation of 1050 mg per day with 300 IU perday of vitamin D did not produce weight loss. At present it appears that supplementation is beneficial in promoting optimum body composition and in some cases weight loss. It should be noted that benefits are most strongly seen in those with suboptimal dietary calcium intake.
The RDA for calcium ranges from 1000 mg perday to 1300 mg per day for men and women between the ages of 4 and 71 plus. Peak absorption is achieved in doses under 500mg. It is therefore recommended that it be supplemented 3 times daily in 300 to 400 mg doses totaling 1000 to 1200 mg per day.
The different kinds of supplements include carbonate, citrate, gluconate, lactate and phosphate. Calcium carbonate is most effectively absorbed with food, whereas citrate forms can be absorbed with or without food.
We have all seen the ads promoting drinking milk to improve our health. Other food sources rich in calcium include yogurt, cheese, fish such as salmon and sardines, and some vegetables including kale, bok choi, and broccoli. Calcium is also commonly fortified in fruit juices and cereals.
Recently, a Women’s Health Initiative study found a relationship between supplementation and an increased risk of heart attack. Reanalysis of the study concluded that the risk was only seen in those who were not taking supplements before the study actually began. These recent findings have created some debate about the health claims and safety of calcium supplements. In some cases individuals may experience GI tract side effects, including constipation, bloating, or gas.
Always consult your doctor before taking any new supplement or health product.