Women Really Need So Much Calcium?

How much calcium do women really need? Does it change as we get older? Will it very facilitate build sturdy bones and stop fractures? Are supplements helpful?

I’ve wrestled for several years with these and alternative queries associated with Ca and fat-soluble vitamin, the nutrition that aids Ca absorption. And I’ve worried that I wasn’t getting enough of either.

That’s why i used to be glad to browse Harvard Women’s Health Watch report titled, “How abundant atomic number 20 does one extremely Need?” The answer, according to that report, is: Not as much as we may think and not as much as current U.S. guidelines call for.

The minimum daily atomic number 20 demand for girls fifty and younger is one,000 milligrams a day and for women over 50 it’s 1,200 milligrams. For those of us in midlife, we’d need to drink four 8-ounce glasses of skim milk a day to get the recommended amount. If, like me, you are not a milk drinker, it becomes really difficult to consume 1,200 milligrams a day, without also taking in a whole lot of calories and saturated fat in dairy products.

Here square measure ten tips to assist you eat additional low-fat dairy farm foods, from ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Some vegetables and fruits conjointly contain atomic number 20, but who really eats four helpings of collard greens a day? And that’s the vegetable with the MOST calcium. If you want to get all your calcium from oranges, you’ll need to eat 22 oranges a day—and that’s just not happening. If you wish to undertake the food route, you’ll be eating sardines or salmon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Again, not happening.

Some foods square measure fortified with atomic number 20, such as orange juice and cereal, but you still probably need to consume more than you want to get the recommended calcium.

Of course, nobody tries to induce all the atomic number 20 we’d like from one food—we get a bit here and a bit there. But, if you’re like me, you don’t get 1,200 milligrams most days.

The Supplement Situation

I’ve tried taking metal supplements, however I opt to get my nutrients through my diet. Studies show that prime levels of metal from supplements will increase risk of urinary organ stones (ouch!), whereas dietary metal could supply some protection against stones. Even scarier, one study of biological time girls showed that ladies World Health Organization took one,000 milligrams of metal every day had associate degree accumulated heart failure risk.

Studies conjointly show that metal is not properly utilised by the body unless we have a tendency to get ample cholecarciferol. And, cholecarciferol will be difficult to urge through diet alone. The current daily recommendation for cholecarciferol is 600 IU (800 IU for individuals over 70).

Some foods, like milk, area unit fortified with cholecarciferol, however the simplest supply is daylight. However, unless you live where it’s sunny year-round and you get out and expose your skin to sunlight for about 20 minutes a day (without sunscreen), then you may come up short. To make things more durable, our skin’s ability to convert daylight to cholecarciferol gets worse with age (what doesn’t?).

Alternative Recommendation

That’s why the recommendation from Harvard University’s Dr. Walter Willett comes as good news to me. Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan college of public health, says we tend to might solely want concerning 0.5 the maximum amount metal as current tips suggest for healthy bones.

He suggests five hundred to 700 milligrams of metal daily, in line with the globe Health Organization’s recommendation of five hundred milligrams and therefore the United Kingdom’s goal of 700 milligrams. Willett maintains that the majority ladies might get a minimum of half that through diet and, if necessary, might supplement with a low-dose metal supplement.

In the Health Watch article, he summarizes the scant proof on that this U.S. recommendation relies and cites recent studies that show that metal and ergocalciferol supplements do not forestall fractures which metal (from diet or pills) does not cut back risk of hip fractures.

Along with the decrease in metal necessities, Willett suggests a rise in ergocalciferol intake to 800 to one,000 IU each day.

As with metal, the controversy continues concerning correct levels of ergocalciferol. A recent University of Wisconsin college of drugs study showed very little price from high-dose ergocalciferol supplements. In that study, the teams ladies|of girls|of ladies} WHO received high-dose or lose-dose ergocalciferol showed no advantage over women WHO received no supplements once it came to spine health, total bone mineral density, overall muscle mass, physical quality or overall fall risk.

With so many conflicting studies, clearly more research is needed.

Even though the govt recommendations haven’t modified, I feel some relief in knowing that my diet could also be providing enough calcium—hopefully simply the correct quantity for robust bones and no stones.