Why we need calcium for healthy bones

Why we need calcium for healthy bones

27 Nov 2021

It’s so important to keep our bones strong as we get older. The skeletal system plays the two important roles of allowing the human body to maintain balance during movement, and protecting our vital organs like the brain. Suffering with poor bone health can potentially lead to injuries or ailments that could prevent you from doing regular physical activities that are commonly taken for granted like walking, or even chewing.

Here’s how to keep your bones strong and healthy at any age.

Calcium for healthy bones

Calcium supports bone health, integrity, and strength. It is one of the key minerals, alongside phosphorus, that is stored in our bones and keeps them strong (1). Because of the importance of bone health, calcium has become an essential nutrient required as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Calcium is important to the body, not just for bone health but also in promoting healthy muscle and nerve function. It also helps in blood clotting. When the body needs calcium to sustain these vital functions, it borrows the mineral from the bones (2). This underscores the importance of replenishing calcium in the body. Calcium deficiency occurs when the blood fails to deliver ample amounts of calcium to regenerate the bone’s reserve, leading to poor bone health.

Calcium for healthy bones

Poor bone health: Why we need calcium for healthy bones

Our bones need to constantly receive calcium to maintain a certain level of bone density. In the infant up to pre-adolescent stages, the body primarily channels calcium to the bones, to allow for a more rapid bone growth and development. Upon reaching the adult stage, the body ceases to form new bone, as it reaches its peak bone density (3). During the more advanced ages of 50 and above, bone loss starts to occur and this is when bone complications may manifest.

People with calcium deficiency may experience brittle bones (4) which are more susceptible to breaking. Brittle bones increase the risk of low impact fractures that can arise from normal physical activities (5). What would otherwise be a minor injury could become a more serious fracture.

How to maintain healthy bones

Weight-bearing exercises like walking or jogging, especially at an early age, help promote stronger bones. Resistance exercises like weight lifting can also strengthen bones (6).

Calcium for healthy bones

A balanced diet, especially one with sufficient amounts of calcium, also helps support strong bones.

Calcium can be found in a variety of foods (7), including:

  1. Dairy products including milk, cheese and yoghurt.
  2. Dark green leafy vegetables, including broccoli.
  3. Fish with edible soft bones, like sardines and canned salmon.
  4. Calcium-fortified foods and drinks
Calcium for healthy bones

Do I need calcium supplements?

The required amount of calcium for healthy bones can differ depending on your age, sex or specific conditions.

According to the National Institute of Health, women between 19 and 50 years of age are recommended to take 1,000mg a day, while men are recommended to take 1,000mg a day (8).

However, not everyone can get the necessary amount of calcium from their diet. People with certain diet restrictions may find themselves calcium deficient. Common examples of these include:

  1. People who eat predominantly plant-based or vegan diets.
  2. People who are lactose intolerant and need to limit dairy product intake.
  3. People who consume large amounts of protein or sodium, which can cause your body to excrete more calcium.
  4. People receiving long-term treatment with corticosteroids.
  5. People who have certain bowel or digestive diseases that decrease the ability to absorb calcium, such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease (9)

Because of these lifestyle or nutritional factors, calcium supplements may be considered to support nutrient intake.

The role of Vitamin D

Besides taking calcium for healthy bones, you might also consider taking vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for better absorption of calcium in the body (10).

The digestive system can struggle to absorb calcium, with most people absorbing only 15% to 20% of the calcium they eat in their diet. This can be caused by a range of factors that include taking medication, dietary restrictions, and certain medical issues. Vitamin D is the nutrient that helps them absorb more calcium (11).

Calcium Plus by Vitable Australia is manufactured in Australia and goes through stringent testing throughout the whole supply chain, and is tested for purity and stability. It is non-GMO, vegetarian and vegan-friendly and free from added lactose and gluten. It is also enriched with vegan vitamin D3 to increase calcium absorption in the body. The pair work together to not only support bone strength and repair, but also muscle function.Whatever age, sex or kind of diet restriction, it is important to consider bone health. Try adding calcium to your monthly vitamin subscription with Vitable. Put together your own pack of personalised supplements and make use of our vitamin delivery process to have your personal packs brought right to your doorstep.

*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.

References:

  1. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Bone Health for Life: Health Information Basics for You and Your Family. Published on https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/bone-health-life-health-information-basics-you-and-your-family. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  2. Pravina Piste, Didwagh Sayaji, and Mokashi Avinash. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences. Published June 2013 on https://www.academia.edu/5820121/Calcium_and_its_Role_in_Human_Body. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  3. OrthoInfo. Healthy Bones at Every Age. Published on https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/healthy-bones-at-every-age/. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.
  4. Cleveland Clinic. Osteoporosis: Prevention With Calcium Treatment. Published on https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15049-osteoporosis-prevention-with-calcium-treatment. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.
  5. Versus Arthritis. Osteoporosis. Published on https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoporosis/. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.
  6. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Oral Health and Bone Disease. Published on https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/oral-health/oral-health-and-bone-disease. Accessed October 24, 2021.
  7. Mayo Clinic. Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance. Published on https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.
  8. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Calcium. Published on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.
  9. Mayo Clinic. Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance. Published on https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.
  10. Stephen B. Weinmann. Vitamin D and its Effect Upon Periodontal Surgery and Periodontal Disease. Published on https://www.academia.edu/26533478/Vitamin_D_and_its_Effect?from=cover_page. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.11.
  11. Medline Plus. Calcium and bones. Published on https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002062.htm. Accessed Oct 24, 2021.