When Your Doctor Tells You to Take More Calcium ….

What should you take when your doctor tells you to increase the calcium in your diet because your bones are brittle?

What should you take when your doctor tells you to increase the calcium in your diet because your bones are brittle?

When I was in medical school, we were taught that if a patient needed to take a calcium supplement for a variety of reasons, any source would be sufficient. That meant that milk, antacids or straight calcium supplements were adequate. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 43% of Americans (including around 70% of older women) take dietary supplements which contain calcium. When you only take calcium and do not balance it with another mineral called magnesium, it may do more harm than good.

A majority of people (including many medical doctors) do not understand certain key facts about calcium, magnesium and their relationship. When calcium is balanced with the right amount of magnesium, the body is able to absorb and metabolize calcium. The standard American diet and they way we take supplements has led to the over-consumption of calcium, while soil depletion and processing of foods has led to the under-consumption of magnesium. But this is only the tip of the iceberg!

The Problem in Only Taking Calcium

Excess calcium intake has been shown to cause problems in our bodies. The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements reported that less than half of the calcium people ingest is actually absorbed from our guts. The rest is either excreted or can remain in our bodies, possible forming kidney stones or calcification (hardening) in some of our soft tissues. A growing amount of scientific evidence, including a 2004 study published in the British Medical Journal, has pointed to a high calcium to low magnesium ratio causing calcification or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), osteoporosis and osteoporotic bone fractures.

What is the Role of Magnesium in Calcium Absorption?

The following is known about magnesium and what it does in our bodies:

  • Magnesium helps convert vitamin D3 into its active form so it can aid calcium absorption
  • Magnesium also stimulates the hormone calcitonin, which helps preserve bone structure and draws out calcium from soft tissues. This helps support healthy bone structure and may help lead to lowering the likelihood of osteoporosis and some forms of heart disease (atherosclerosis).
  • Magnesium is also important for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, production and transport of energy and the production of protein

Why is There an Imbalance in Calcium and Magnesium?

  • Recommendations for calcium intake vary greatly across the globe. For instance, in the U.S., adults are advised to consume 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg of calcium daily depending on age and sex. The U.K. recommends 700 mg daily and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends only 400 to 500 mg daily.
  • Many people take high levels of calcium in their supplements without considering the amount they consume in their diet. If the diet contains dairy products or the water consumed has calcium (some tap waters and mineral waters), the amount of calcium consumed is much higher. This may lead to a greater amount of unabsorbed calcium in the body.
  • When magnesium consumption is low due to dietary or farming practices, this makes the imbalance even greater. Instead of the target of 1:1 for calcium and magnesium, this actually may push the imbalance closer to 4 or 5:1.

So What Should Be in the Calcium Supplement I Take?

The following ingredients are important:

  • Obviously, calcium. It should also be biologically available, not dug out of the ground as seen in a number of calcium supplements
  • Magnesium, also biologically available, in the same amount as calcium, to keep the ratio of calcium/magnesium close to 1:1
  • Vitamin D. This should be in the active form, cholecalciferol or D3. Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium, enabling our bodies to receive maximum benefits. Numerous studies have shown that adequate calcium and vitamin D levels maintained throughout life may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin K (in the form of K2 or MK-7). This form of vitamin K has been shown to support healthy bones, kidneys and cardiovascular function. It is believed that this form of vitamin K also helps move calcium out of soft tissues.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

I recently review a new supplement, Magnical-D which contains all of the nutients I discussed above as well as a number of others. Magnical-D blends calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K to provide essential nutrients in an easily adsorbed supplement that supports bone, cardiovascular and cellular health. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administartion. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Buy Magnical-D

Buy Magnical-D

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