Calcium supplements are known to have several benefits, including:
- Preventing osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. It is more common in women, especially after menopause. Calcium supplements can help to prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
- Reducing the risk of fractures: Fractures are breaks in the bones. Calcium supplements can help to reduce the risk of fractures by making bones stronger.
- Improving muscle function: Calcium is essential for muscle contraction. Calcium supplements can help to improve muscle function by increasing the amount of calcium available to the muscles.
- Regulating blood pressure: Calcium supplements can help to regulate blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
- Reducing the risk of colon cancer: Some studies have shown that calcium supplements may help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Reducing the risk of preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Calcium supplements may help to reduce the risk of preeclampsia in women who are at high risk.
It is important to note that more research is needed to confirm the benefits of calcium supplements for all of these conditions.
Who should take calcium supplements?
The following people may benefit from taking calcium supplements:
- People who are at risk of osteoporosis, such as women after menopause, and people with certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
- People who do not get enough calcium from their diet, such as people who are lactose intolerant or who have food allergies.
- People who are taking certain medications, such as corticosteroids and diuretics, which can cause bone loss.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
How much calcium should you take?
The recommended daily intake of calcium varies depending on age and sex.
It is important to note that these are just general recommendations. Your individual calcium needs may vary depending on your health status, activity level, and other factors. If you are unsure how much calcium you need, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
If you are considering taking calcium supplements, it is important to talk to your doctor first. This is especially important if you have any underlying health conditions or if you are taking any medications.