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Calcium is by far the most abundant mineral in the body.
Its uses are manifold – from building and maintaining bones to clotting blood and supporting a regular heartbeat. Its many important functions means that without it, our bodies would soon stop working.
But why are calcium supplements for women in particular so crucial?
Here, Dr Jen Gunter, an ob/gyn and pain medicine physician who has authored several books, explains why she had a wakeup call when it came to taking calcium supplements.
Here she finds out that, according to the According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a requirement of 1,000 mg of elemental calcium is needed a day for women under 45. This then goes up to 12,000 by the time a woman turns 50.
Dairy is the best and easiest source of calcium, with fish following close behind. But if you’re vegan, lactose intolerant or simply do not like cheese, milk, yoghurt or seafood – getting the full amount every day can be difficult.
Calcium supplements are the next best thing.
Osteoporosis in women
Bone weakening and osteoporosis is a big danger to women – particularly after the menopause. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones and is estimated to affect 200 million women across the world – 75 million of them from Europe, USA and Japan.
It develops over years, and is often only detected when a fall or sudden impact causes a fracture.
While a tumble or trip can certainly cause damage in fragile bones, something as easy as a sneeze or cough can trigger a fracture.
Osteoporosis isn’t usually painful until a fracture occurs, but spinal fractures are a common cause of chronic pain.
Osteoporosis usually happens in older people – however, it isn’t really a sign of age, more a lack of calcium and vitamin D. This is why it is so important – particularly in women – to focus efforts on making sure they are consuming, and absorbing, the right levels of calcium.