Updated: Nov 1
Before we get into who needs calcium and why, let's discuss some basic ideas around calcium. I don't want to get into a whole long lecture around it so I will stick to the simple stuff:
Did you know that your muscles utilize calcium with EVERY single muscle contraction? Blink. Talk. Smile. EVERY muscle contraction. Wild, right?
Did you know that you lose Calcium when you sweat?
Did you know that you need vitamin D in order to utilize calcium?
Did you know that calcium is absorbed in an acid environment? So you need adequate stomach acid to absorb calcium. Fascinating.
Did you know that calcium plays a critical role in protecting you from viral infections?
Yes, all of the above are true.
"Athletes may lose calcium via sweat, in which case replenishment is advocated either via dietary intake of calcium-rich foods or a commercial calcium supplement. The important message to athletes is to consume a diet adequate in energy, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fluids to support the physical demands and replenish the physiologic losses incurred with physical training."- Current Sports Medicine Report- August 2005
I know that you are now scrambling to get some calcium and add it to the list of supplements you take. ;-) But hang on.
Setting yourself up for success
What you need to ensure the supplement you use will actually be absorbed:
1. The most common form of supplement is calcium carbonate. This is made from shellfish and it's very alkaline- remember #4- you need an acid environment to absorb it. So, calcium carbonate is a terrible product and you may as well throw it in the toilet. Some forms that we have had success with is calcium citrate and lactate.
2. You need adequate Vitamin D to absorb calcium. So make sure you have healthy levels of vitamin D. We recommend somewhere in the upper limit- 60-80 ng/dL. (lots of people will disagree with me but i'm old and don't care).
3. In order to get enough vitamin D- you need to be eating healthy fats and a healthy gallbladder and bile production.
4. Make sure you have plenty of stomach acid- especially if you are older than 45 as acid production reduces as we age. (If you are taking a proton pump inhibitor or Zantac or other over the counter antacid, you are effectively NOT absorbing calcium). Yeah.
5. I find omega 3 helps with the utilization of calcium. That's what we call a "clinical pearl"
"Calcium generally is thought to be absorbed in the ionized form throughout the small intestine but primarily in the proximal small bowel. Ionization of this mineral depends on an acidic medium to release calcium from a salt or food complex."-Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2010
The value of having adequate calcium and who needs to supplement
The quotes below sort of sums it up:
"Not only is calcium essential for the health of your bones and teeth, but it plays important roles in muscle contraction, nervous system function, stabilization of blood pressure, blood clotting and secretion of hormones. It also contributes to normal brain function and helps maintain a regular heartbeat."
"Higher calcium intakes have been associated with decreased bone loss, and lower calcium absorption has been associated with increased fracture risk. Because the average American diet contains insufficient calcium, most Americans require calcium supplementation."- American Journal of Medicine.- July 2005
And for all you people worried about Covid (please stop freaking out about Covid)
Low serum calcium was also a risk factor for Covid 19 infection and severity of symptoms.
"Calcium is closely associated with virus-associated multiple organ injuries and the increase in inflammatory cytokines. Our results provide a new, important indicator of COVID-19 patients from mild/moderate to severe/critical: serum calcium."- Bioscience Reports- December 2020
Get it from food
Whenever possible we want to be able to get our nutrition from food. Remember the supplement is "something that completes or enhances something else when added to it." In this case, it would be your overall daily nutritional requirements.
Foods that are rich in calcium
sardines and salmon
broccoli, kale, soy beans
beans and legumes
And of course fortified dairy and cereal products. But I am not a fan of fortified anything.
Calcium Lactate is a dairy-free, vegan tablet that helps maintain healthy bone density.* It is an excellent source of calcium and a good source of magnesium.
Supports muscle and nerve function
Supports normal functions of cells and cell membranes
Supports normal blood clotting process
Supports proper functioning of enzyme systems
Supports and helps maintain healthy bone density and remodeling
Provides support in the immune system response function*
Adequate calcium as part of a healthful diet, along with physical activity, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life
Excellent source of calcium
Good source of magnesium
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, non-dairy, non-soy
You can order here or you can order direct from standard process with a patient direct account.
Use this link and enter code PRRHMZ