Wow!……..50% of women, and 25% of men over 50 will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis!
Until recently, doctors and dietitians have recommended calcium supplements for those not getting enough from their diet. Recent research is emerging to show that calcium from supplements may not be effective at improving bone health, and may even increase risk of heart disease. The research is suggesting that dietary sources trump the supplements.
Why is calcium important?
- bone health – 99% of calcium is in the bones , it is needed to prevent osteoporosis (softening of bones), resulting in fractures and to prevent rickets in children.
- 1% of calcium found outside the bones is essential for: muscle contraction, blood clotting, stabilising blood pressure, normal brain function, communicating essential information among cells.
How much calcium do I need?
|Age||Calcium/day||Stars (1 star = 60mg)|
|11-18||Girls 800mg/Boys 1000mg||13/16|
|Post menopausal women||1200mg||20|
|Coeliac disease||Adults 1500mgChildren 750mg||2512|
Sources of calcium:
|Cheese||Matchbox size (30g)||★★★★|
|Yoghurt||1 pot (150g)||★★★★|
|Rice pudding||½ tin (200g)||★★★|
|Ovaltine original||25g (with milk)||★★★★★★★|
|Calcium enriched soya/rice/oat/almond milk||200ml||★★★★|
|Salmon, tinned||½ tin||★★|
|Baked beans||Small tin (220g)||★★|
|Sesame seeds||1 tablespoon||★|
|Soya beans (edamame)||1 cup||★★★|
Vitamin D – It essential for bone health to have good levels of vitamin D, as it is needed for the gut to absorb calcium, and for bone formation. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone, and during winter months from sunlight, which is why I recommend a vitamin D supplement. Here’s more info on vitamin D
Other dietary factors are important for bone health include:
- protein – meat, fish, eggs, dairy
- magnesium – dairy, fruit, veg, whole grains
- phosphorous – excessive intake harmful (fizzy drinks)
- potassium – fruit and veg
- vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A – fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, eggs