Most Americans do not get the calcium they need. According to a recent statement from the National Institutes of Health, only about 25% of boys and 10% of girls meet the RDA levels of calcium consumption. Bone fractures are frequently seen in elders and women in North America. Certain groups of the population are at greater risk for calcium deficiency, including menopausal women; young women who lose their period due to anorexia nervosa and/or exercise-induced anorexia; individuals with lactose intolerance; strict vegetarians; and other individuals with poor calcium intakes. There are some known factors that may cause calcium deficiency.
Calcium Deficiency and Alcohol - Alcoholics are deficient in vitamin D and vitamin D is a key component in calcium absorption. Therefore, people who drink frequently are likely to be deficient in Calcium.
Calcium and High Protein Intake
People with high protein intake, especially people who take protein supplements for bodybuilding purposes must watch their level. According to scientific researches, as dietary protein intake increases, the body's calcium level decreases. A scientific calculation has been conducted that each additional gram of protein results in an additional loss of 1.75 mg of calcium per day. Because only 30% of dietary calcium is generally absorbed, each one-gram increase in protein intake/day would require an additional 5.8 mg of calcium/day to offset the calcium loss. Recommended calcium intakes for the U.S. population are higher than those for populations of less industrialized nations because protein intake in the U.S. is generally higher.
Calcium Deficiency and Caffeine
According to some experts, caffeine has a moderate impact on calcium retention in the body and has been associated with increased hip fractures in women. Studies have shown women with low calcium intakes who drank the equivalent of two or more cups of coffee per day may have low calcium level. Caffeine causes a short-term increase in calcium excretion in the urine, and may decrease calcium absorption. Simply increasing calcium intake can decrease any impact from caffeine.
Calcium Deficiency and Other Minerals
Increased sodium, Iron and Magnesium intakes result in increased loss of calcium in the urine, possibly due to competition between these nutritional elements and calcium for reabsorption in the kidney. Calcium helps muscles contract, while magnesium helps them to relax. Experts recommend a two-to-one ratio of Calcium to Magnesium. People eats iron-enriched foods (cereals, certain plants or iron supplements) may have low absorption in Calcium. Some studies have indicated high salt intakes resulted bone loss in lab animals.
Calcium Supplement and Calcium Deficiency
Additional calcium from calcium supplements may keep your bone strong and healthy. Calcium comes in a variety of forms, including calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, citrate malate, gluconate, phosphate, lactate, and microcrystalline hydroxyapatite. Calcium is also available in fortified foods such as juice, chocolates, yogurt, and cereal. Some calcium sources are better than others, and some are cheaper.
The following are some information helping you to choose and take the appropriate calcium supplement:
- Calcium carbonate is generally the cheapest form of calcium because it's the most concentrated and therefore, fewer supplements are necessary. It should be taken with meals to increase absorption.
- Calcium citrate malate (CCM) is available in tablet form and in fortified juice. The low calcium content requires a greater number of tablet per day (2-5 tabs) and it's more expensive. However, studies have shown that this particular form of calcium is the best absorbed. Typically, people absorb 35% of the calcium in this form, versus 30% of the calcium in calcium carbonate and other supplements. The citrate portion may also help reduce the risk of kidney stones.