Calcium Supplements, Calcium Absorption, and Vitamin Deficiencies

Calcium Supplements, Calcium Absorption, and Vitamin Deficiencies

Calcium Supplements, Calcium Absorption, and Vitamin DeficienciesWhatÂ’s In This Site?Nutrition for Bones: Simple nutrition changes can benefit your bones.Calcium Absorption: It''s not as simple as taking calcium supplements.Frequently Asked Questions: Find more useful information about osteoporosis and calcium.WomenÂ’s Health Links:Bones and OsteoporosisLearn About OsteoporosisMenopause & OsteoporosisAbout OsteoporosisMore On Health & Wellness:W3 Health and Wellness Carpal Tunnel Q & AFeel Better Quit SmokingFeel Better With Exercise Increase Your Energy Relax and HealCalcium AbsorptionCalcium rich foods are a must for every person. However, ingesting foods high in calcium will not help if those sources of calcium are not well absorbed. Many calcium supplements are available on the market today. Different sources are used in creating calcium supplements, but the most popular is oyster shell. This form of calcium exists as calcium carbonate and is often readily available in pharmacies or health food stores. However, the calcium supplements are not easily absorbed in the intestine, and doses of 1000 mg/day are needed to treat perimenopausal women (in the beginning stages of menopause) or those at risk for osteoporosis. Because of the slow rate of calcium absorption associated with supplements, up to 2000 mg/day is necessary to retard the rate of bone loss for women with existing or advanced osteoporosis (Gennari & Nuti, 1998).Normally, the kidney produces a precursor for vitamin D. In a reaction involving this precursor and sunlight, the skin synthesizes vitamin D so that the intestines can increase calcium absorption. The production of this precursor is decreased in a person with a kidney impairment.The process of conversion using this precursor can be hindered in the menopausal woman or in the aging individual since the skin is less effective in synthesizing vitamin D. Furthermore, older adults tend to spend less time outdoors, reducing their exposure to the sun and inadvertently contributing to vitamin deficiencies. The fear of melanomas and the increase in the use of sun block in recent years has decreased sun exposure to the point where the general population has seen a radical increase in vitamin D deficiencies.Researchers continue to look for medications that are effective with patients unable to synthesize vitamin D. Activated forms of vitamin D metabolites, usually used in combination with other substances, have been effective in decreasing bone loss (Gennari and Nuti, 1998). Alfacalcidol, for example, is available by prescription. If you have osteoporosis, check with your doctor about your specific requirements. Your physician will determine whether such medications might be of help.Self-medication is not recommended, since excessive amounts of vitamin D may cause calcification in soft tissue. ReferencesVitamin DeficienciesMonitoring calcium intake is vital, yet vitamin deficiencies can contribute to decreased calcium absorption. Vitamin D is required to help the bones absorb calcium or calcium supplements. Food is an important part of a balanced diet. - Fran Lebowitz (1950 - ____) US journalist[ Home Nutrition for Bones Calcium Absorption Calcium FAQs ]THIS SITE IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT OSTEOPOROSIS, NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.Questions or comments? Please contact our Web Master.View our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Security PolicyCopyright W3COMMERCE inc. 2001. All rights reserved. Last modified 7.05.01