Youíve probably heard that you need to take a calcium
supplement each day - even if you are taking a multi-vitamin.
This is because most people donít get enough calcium in their
diets and the multi-vitamins donít have the recommended daily
dosage of calcium in them; even though they do have other nutrients
and minerals that we need.
We need calcium to keep our bones and teeth strong,
but it is also needed to help our muscles contract properly, to
help our blood clot, to help nerves carry messages, to keep our
hearts beating properly, and to prevent diseases such as Osteoporosis.
Without calcium our bodies are in big trouble!
We get some calcium from the foods we eat. Dairy
products, broccoli, rice, salmon, tuna, beans, nuts, seeds, oysters,
shrimp, turnip greens, okra, other green vegetables, oranges,
figs, and several other foods all contain calcium. But again,
most people donít consume enough of these foods in a single day
to get the required amount of calcium that is needed by the body,
even if they are taking an additional multi-vitamin.
Most people donít even know how much calcium they
need to meet their bodyís requirements. Doctors always tell us
to take a calcium supplement - but they almost always fail to
say how much calcium is enough, and how much is too much!
First, letís look at how much is too much, in terms
of calcium. Nobody has ever overdosed on calcium, but some people
have had health problems that were caused because they were getting
too much calcium - the solution was always to cut down on the
calcium of course. So far, scientists and doctors agree that up
to 2500 milligrams of calcium per day is perfectly safe - but
you donít even need that much.
Most health care professionals agree that if you
arenít drinking three eight ounce glasses of milk per day, you
are not getting enough calcium. Babies between the ages of newborn
and six months old should have at least 210 milligrams of calcium
each day. From seven months to one year, they should have 270
milligrams per day. Children aged one to three years should have
500 milligrams, four to eight years should have 800 milligrams,
and nine years to eighteen year olds should have 1300 milligrams.
It is vitally important that children under the
age of eighteen get the calcium that they need, because this is
when their bones and teeth are developing, and their bodies crave
Adults between the ages of nineteen and fifty need
1000 milligrams of calcium per day, which adults aged fifty one
and over need to increase their calcium intake to 1200 milligrams
If you are taking a supplement to get your daily
calcium make sure you are also taking magnesium with it. Magnesium
is the transport that brings the calcium to your cells. The ratio
of magnesium to calcium should be 2:1. In other words if you are
taking 1200mg of calcium you should also be taking 600mg of magnesium
for a complete solution.
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