Calcium For Bone Health - How Much Do We Need? | Cooper
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Calcium for Bone Health – How much do you need?

Calcium Supplements from Cooper Complete nutritional supplements

Calcium is a mineral that is important for your health and, in particular, your bones. Research indicates long-term, daily calcium intake is required to promote bone health best.

No matter what your age, it is never too late to invest in your bone health. Your bones are like a bank account; the more calcium you deposit when you are young (under age 30), the more you have to draw from later.

Food Sources of Calcium for Bone Health

Try to get as much calcium as you can through food. You can find calcium in low-fat dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk; soybeans; enriched grains; and dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens. Strive to include two to four servings of dairy per day, which should help increase your calcium level. Here is the calcium amount in common foods:


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  • 1 slice whole wheat bread: 30 mg
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese: 55 mg
  • 1 cup chopped kale: 94 mg
  • 1 cup cooked spinach: 245 mg
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt: 245-384 mg
  • 1 cup cooked collard greens: 268 mg
  • 1 cup soy milk: 301 mg
  • 1 cup non-fat milk: 302 mg
  • 1-ounce cheddar cheese: 306 mg
  • 1 cup plain yogurt: 415 mg
  • 1/2 cup tofu: 434 mg
  • 1 cup (calcium-fortified) almond milk: 450 mg

If you are not getting an adequate amount of calcium through diet alone, you should speak to your physician about taking a calcium supplement.

How Much Do You Need?

Cooper Clinic recommendations are based on the latest scientific research as it pertains to your health. Cooper Clinic recommends the following for daily calcium intake:

  • Men and Women Ages 19-50: 1,000 mg
  • Men Ages 51-70: 1,000 mg
  • Men and Women Ages 51+ or low bone density: 1,200 mg

It is recommended that individuals obtain no more than 1,500 mg of total calcium each day from food and calcium supplement sources.

To determine the amount of calcium in food products, if you’re reading food labels and it says 20 percent calcium, replace the percent sign with a zero to get the total milligrams. For example, 20 percent would be the same as 200 milligrams of calcium.

New nutrition facts with calcium and other nutrients reported in micrograms (mcg), milligrams (mg) and grams (g) will be fully implemented by food manufacturers by January 1, 2021, and will reflect the level of calcium in milligrams (mg), the same way calcium is reported on calcium supplements facts.

Review nutrient food levels of the calcium-rich foods typically consumed on a daily basis to see if your typical diet provides enough calcium to meet the recommended calcium intake. If diet alone isn’t enough, add a calcium supplement to get to the recommended level.

Don’t Forget Vitamin D for Bone Health

While most adults know we need calcium for bone health, fewer know that vitamin D is also important for bone health as it regulates the intake of calcium into our bones. So if you’re getting calcium from diet or supplements, but your vitamin D levels are low, it’s not going to be absorbed as well. Cooper Clinic recommends getting at least 50 mcg (2,000 international units) of vitamin D daily, which will help with the absorption of calcium into the bones. There are only a few foods containing vitamin D and fairly low levels; therefore, supplementation is typically needed.

Studies indicate that up to 80 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Next time you see your doctor, request to have your blood levels of vitamin D tested to know if you have a vitamin D deficiency.

Add Aerobics and Strength Training for Bone Health

The Cooper philosophy is that supplementation supports good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, in addition to consuming calcium through food and supplements to support bone health, it’s important to remember that regular exercise is a cornerstone of building and maintaining healthy bones. Both weight-bearing activities and strength training are important for optimal bone health. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking and running, as well as tennis, Zumba and dance, provide compression forces on bones, while strength training provides bending force. Both compression and bending force are important for bone strength and integrity.

As with everything else, be mindful of where you need to be to keep your bones strong.

Article provided by Cooper Complete team.

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