Healthy BonesPage 2 of 2
Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium
|Age Group ||Calcium Needs ||Milk to Provide Most of Calcium*
|1 - 8 years ||500 - 800 mg ||2 to 3 cups
|9 - 18 years ||1300 mg ||4 cups
|19 - 50 years ||1000 mg ||3 cups or more
|Women, 51+ (with **HRT) and Men, 51+ ||1200 mg ||3 to 4 cups
|Women, 51+ (without **HRT) ||1500 mg ||4 cups or more
|Pregnant or Breastfeeding ||1200 mg ||3 to 4 cups
|*1 cup (8 ounces) of Milk contains about 300 mg of Calcium. The above amounts of milk will not provide all the calcium needed, but there are other foods that can help meet calcium needs.
**HRT = Hormone Replacement Therapy
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, the major sugar found in milk.
Lactose intolerance is caused by a shortage of the enzyme lactase, which is produced by the cells that line the small intestine.
Lactase breaks down milk sugar into two simpler forms of sugar called glucose and galactose, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream.
Not all people deficient in lactase have the symptoms commonly associated with lactose intolerance, but those who do are said to have lactose intolerance.
People sometimes confuse lactose intolerance with cow's milk intolerance because the symptoms are often the same. However, lactose intolerance
and cow's milk intolerance are not related. Being intolerant to cow's milk is an allergic reaction triggered by the immune system. Lactose
intolerance is a problem caused by the digestive system.
People who do not have enough lactase to digest the amount of lactose they consume may feel very uncomfortable when they digest milk products.
Common symptoms, which range from mild to severe, include nausea, cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Symptoms begin about 30 minutes to 2 hours
after eating or drinking foods containing lactose. The severity of symptoms depends on many factors, including the amount of lactose a person can
tolerate and a person’s age, ethnicity, and digestion rate.
Osteoporosis (OSS-tee-oh-pore-OH-sis) is a disease, occurring mostly in older adults, due to a loss of bone density and a break down of bone structure. The bones become porous, thin, and brittle. Osteoporosis is a major health problem in the U.S.
One cause of this disease is getting too little calcium in early life and reaching age 30 with too little calcium in the bones. It can also result from calcium being drawn out of the bones too fast due to several conditions (risk factors) discussed below.
As the bones in the spine lose calcium, they become more thin and soft and can no longer support the body, causing the person to stoop forward. Eventually, this becomes very serious because the lungs and organs may not have enough room to work properly.
Bones also break easily, especially those in the hips, legs, and arms. Falls may cause a bone to break, or a bone might give way causing the person to fall.
Osteoporosis risk factors that cannot be changed are:
• Being female
• Having a small skeleton
• Being Caucasian / Asian
• Family history of osteoporosis and fractures
• Advanced age
Osteoporosis risk factors that can be changed are:
• Medications with negative affects on bone
• Inadequate or excessive intake of nutrients
• Sedentary – no weight bearing activity
• Excessive exercise
• Low body weight
• Cigarette smoking
• High alcohol consumption
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