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Seven Factors That Hinder in Absorption of Calcium in Your Body

Updated on March 27, 2015

Absorption Of Calcium

Do you know that calcium is an essential mineral for building your muscles, bones, blood clot and teeth. It may also help to prevent hypertension. As we grow older we need to consume enough calcium and we need to make sure that our body absorbs it. The recommended dietary allowance or RDA of calcium for an adult is 800 milligrams. The national institutes of Health recommend that postmenopausal women should consume 1,200 to 1500 milligrams a day because re-search suggest that high calcium diet can slow the bone loss of osteoporosis. Men are less prone to osteoporosis in their fifties and sixties because they usually have more bone mass than women.

Here are seven factors that affect the absorption of calcium in your body:-

1. Aging: One of the reason that RDA for calcium is difficult to determine is that many thing can affect its absorption. One is age, children absorbs up to 75% of calcium they eat however adults only about 15 to 35%. Consuming the right balance of protein, vitamin D and lactose helps your body absorbs calcium.

2. Food: A diet too high in protein or fat reduces calcium absorption. Also, phosphorus, another mineral is needed in about the same amount as calcium to form the bone. Americans tend to consume many foods that are high in phosphorus like soft drinks, eggs and meat, which may upset the phosphorus – calcium ratio and hinder calcium absorption.

Calcium rich foods:-

Tofu or soybean curd - 4 oz has 155 mg of calcium

Broccoli – 1 cup cooked has 136 mg.

Whole milk – 1 cup has 288 mg.

Skim milk – 1 cup has 296 mg.

Ice-cream -1 cup has 194 mg.

Shrimp – 1 cup has 147 mg.

Canned salmon with bones – 3.87oz has 169 mg.

Collard Green – 1 cup cooked has 357 mg.

Sardines with bones – 3oz have 375 mg.

Low fat cottage cheese – 1 cup has 138 mg.

Plain yogurt – 1 cup has 274 mg, plain low fat-415mg and plain no fat has 452 mg.

3. Chemicals: Other chemicals in foods adversely affect calcium absorption is oxalic acid which is found in spinach and phytic acid found in legums and bran. The tannins in tea and an excess of caffeine also hinder calcium absorption as does smoking. Taking aluminum based antacid can also affect calcium retention.

4. Estrogen: In women the hormone estrogen is important for calcium metabolism. After menopause when the body stops producing estrogen, doctors often prescribe estrogen replacement therapy as well calcium for those women who are at risk for osteoporosis.

5. Cholesterol: Whole milk dairy products that are high in calcium are also high in fat and may increase your cholesterol level. You can reduce fat by choosing low fat or non fat yogurt, part skim milk or low fat cheeses and frozen yogurt in place of ice cream. Low fat dairy products have just as much as the high fat varieties and in some cases even more.

6. Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle can hinder the body`s ability to absorb calcium. Regular weight bearing exercise such as walking and running is essential for building and maintaining strong muscles and bones at any age.

7. Supplement: Experts always recommend food sources of calcium than over the counter supplement because foods often contain other nutrients that help your body to absorb the minerals. If you cannot get as much calcium as you should through your diet then your doctor may suggest you taking a supplement. Calcium carbonate is the least expensive supplement and contains the greatest amount of calcium. Several over the counter antacids are sodium free calcium carbonate tablets, which can also serve as calcium supplement. In older people and those with decreased gastric acid, calcium carbonate tablet are not going to dissolve easily. Calcium Citrate is good alternative for those who have decreased stomach acid. Although consuming an excessive amount of calcium is not a problem for most of the people but you need to consult with your doctor before you start any new over the counter supplement.

Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money can't buy.
- Izaak Walton -


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