Types of calcium supplements and when you should take it
Throughout your lifetime, calcium is important for bone health. While diet is the best way to get calcium, but if your diet falls short, calcium supplements can be an alternative. To build and sustain strong bones, your body requires calcium. To function properly, your heart, muscles, and nerves also need calcium. Over 99% of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth. It’s so important that if you don’t get the recommended amount in your diet, your body will take it from your skeleton and teeth to use elsewhere, weakening your bones. Some research indicates that calcium along with vitamin D may have advantages beyond bone health perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Before considering calcium supplements, make sure you know how much calcium you need, the advantages and drawbacks of calcium supplements, and what kind of supplement to use.
There are multiple calcium supplements in the market and all of them have their pros and cons so it’s very important to know what you need and how much you need it. Here is the recommended amount of calcium needed for men and women.
19-50 years 1,000 mg
51-70 years 1,000 mg
71 and older 1,200 mg
19-50 years 1,000 mg
51 and older 1,200 mg
In calcium supplements, several different kinds of calcium compounds are used. There are different quantities of the mineral calcium, known as elemental calcium, in each compound. Calcium supplements that are normal may be classified as:
• Calcium carbonate (40% elemental calcium) • Calcium citrate (21% elemental calcium) • Calcium gluconate (9% elemental calcium) • Calcium lactate (13% elemental calcium)
The two main forms of calcium supplements are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is the cheapest and therefore often a good first choice. Other forms of calcium in supplements include gluconate and lactate. Also, some calcium supplements are combined with vitamins and other minerals. For instance, some calcium supplements may also contain vitamin D or magnesium.
Benefits Calcium Supplements
1. Prevent bone loss in women after Menopause
Women lose bone mass after menopause because of a decrease in estrogen. Fortunately, supplements might help. Several studies have indicated that giving calcium supplements to postmenopausal women, typically about 1,000 mg per day, can reduce bone loss by 1-2%. The effect seems to be greatest in women with low calcium intakes and during the first two years of taking supplements.
2. Helps in Fat loss
Studies have associated low calcium intake with a high body mass index (BMI) and high body fat percentage. A 2016 study examined the effects of giving a daily 600-mg calcium supplement to overweight and obese college students with very low calcium intakes. The study found that those given a supplement containing 600 mg of calcium and 125 IUs of vitamin D lost more body fat on a calorie-restricted diet than those who did not receive the supplement.
3. Lower the risk of colon cancer
Calcium from dairy products and supplements may reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to one major study.
4. May help improve metabolic markers
Several studies have suggested that taking calcium supplements might improve metabolic markers, especially when taken with vitamin D.
So here are some important effects of calcium supplements. coming onto when you should take them? Well, calcium supplements should only be taken after consulting a doctor.
The time of the day for consuming the calcium supplements may vary as per the supplement. You might want to avoid taking the calcium supplements late evening or night as the body requires certain amount of time and active metabolism for efficient absorption. Since we are lesser active in the later stage of the day, it is advisable to take calcium supplements accordingly. Don’t forget to ask the same from your doctor before making any kind of decision.
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