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Healthy Bones

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Healthy Bones and Osteoporosis Information – Better Bone Health Through Adequate Calcium Intake

Bones are growing their fastest during the teen years, and adequate calcium intake during these years promotes healthy bones. Also in terms of valuable osteoporosis information calcium helps prevent it later in life. But, studies show that most teens are not getting enough of it in their diets. Fewer teens are at or above their adequate intake of calcium. Few adults are at there adequate intake of calcium. Calcium sources and adequate calcium intake for children, teens and adults is in the scope of this article. Calcium is essential to healthy bone development, and better bone health requires proper intake of calcium at all age levels. Calcium is an essential mineral found in great abundance in the body.

Ninety-nine percent of all the calcium in the body is found in the bones and teeth. If calcium levels in the blood drop below normal, calcium will be taken from bone and put into the blood in order to maintain blood calcium levels. Therefore, it is important, for better bone health, to consume enough calcium to maintain adequate blood and bone calcium levels.

Throughout life, calcium continuously moves in and out of the bones. During childhood and the teen years, bones grow in size and density. Calcium goes into the bones faster than it comes out. Between ages 20 and 30 years, the bones do not grow anymore in size, but they become more dense and hard if you are taking in enough calcium and Vitamin D. Therefore, the first 30 years (first third of life) is called the "bone building stage." After age 40, calcium begins to move out of the bones faster than it goes back in. This is called the "bone losing stage." It is very important to reach this age with the strongest, most dense bones possible to minimize the effects of calcium loss. "Good bone health" or "healthy bones" means reaching adulthood with the most dense, strong bones possible, and then keeping the bones strong through exercise and proper calcium in the diet. On the other hand, if too little calcium is stored in the bones before age 30, or calcium is drawn out too fast in later life, you will be at risk for getting osteoporosis. Calcium is absorbed and used only when there is enough vitamin D in the body. A balanced diet should provide an adequate supply of vitamin D from sources such as eggs and liver. Sunlight also helps the body naturally absorb vitamin D, and with enough exposure to the sun, food sources may not be necessary.

Scope Of This Article

  • Calcium Sources
  • How Much Calcium Do You Need?
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • What Is Osteoporosis?

SOME GOOD SOURCES OF CALCIUM

Most foods in the milk group
- milk and dishes made with milk, such as puddings and soups
made with milk
- cheeses such as Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan
- yogurt
-- Canned fish with soft bones such as sardines, anchovies, and salmon**
-- Dark-green leafy vegetables, such as kale, mustard greens, and turnip
greens, and pak-choi
-- Tofu, if processed with calcium sulfate. Read the labels.
-- Tortillas made from lime-processed corn. Read the labels.

Calcium and Health

Calcium is an essential mineral found in great abundance in the body. Ninety-nine percent of all the calcium in the body is found in the bones and teeth. The remaining one percent is in the blood. Calcium plays important roles in nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and blood clotting. If calcium levels in the blood drop below normal, calcium will be taken from bone and put into the blood in order to maintain blood calcium levels. Therefore, it is important to consume enough calcium to maintain adequate blood and bone calcium levels.

Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium Recommended


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