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How Much Calcium Do You Really Need?

18th April 2019, 11:32am EST

You’ve heard it since grade school, calcium makes strong bones and teeth.  Guess what?  That is still true, even in our world of ever-changing medical standards. Calcium is a mineral that our body does not manufacture, so your daily intake is truly all the calcium your body is getting.  That means that your smile, from day one, has been depending on you to give it enough calcium to maintain strong teeth.

How much calcium is enough?

The International Osteoporosis Foundation maintains that men and women under the age of 50 require 1000 mg of calcium a day.  Our daily need rises as we enter mid-life, raising our daily standard to 1200 mg.

What is the best way to get the recommended amount of calcium?

Our bodies do best when digesting foods rich in a nutrient.  Foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt have the highest amounts of calcium.  However, it should be noted that many dark green vegetables like broccoli, collards, and bok choy also are a great source of calcium that help to reduce your fat intake at the same time.  A good way to add calcium to a meal without drinking milk is to add a spoonful of non-fat milk powder to sauces and salads.

When you realize you are still not getting enough calcium through eating, a supplement is recommended to brdige the gap between your consumption and what is recommended.

What will happen if you don’t get enough calcium?

Besides contributing to brittle bones and teeth, a lack of calcium can lead to a host of other health problems.  Calcium assists in blood clotting and maintaining muscle and neurologic health.  Low calcium can result in muscle aches, contribute to muscle spasms during exercise and a failure for a wound to clot properly.

The next time you look in a mirror and wonder if your smile is as strong as it could be, first ask yourself if you are giving it all the calcium it needs to be with you for the rest of your life.

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