Hide this
 

The Best Way to Get Enough Calcium

July 17, 2007 | 80,401 views
Share This Article Share

A new study suggests that calcium from food sources may be more effective than calcium from supplements. It found that women who get most of their daily calcium from food sources have healthier bones and greater bone density, even though those who took more supplements tended to have higher average levels of calcium.

Researchers asked 183 postmenopausal women to document their diet over the course of a week, after which their bone mineral density and estrogen were tested. Women who got at least 70 percent of their daily calcium from food sources instead of supplements took in the least calcium (830 milligrams per day, on average), but higher spine and hip bone density than women consuming 1,030 milligrams of calcium per day primarily from supplement sources.

Women who got calcium in relatively even amounts from both food and supplemental sources had both the highest bone mineral density and the highest calcium intake (1,620 milligrams per day).

Calcium from dietary sources is usually more completely absorbed than calcium from supplements, which could explain the difference. Women who got getting calcium from foods also had higher estrogen levels; estrogen is needed to maintain bone mineral density. The connection between dietary calcium and estrogen is as yet unknown, although it could be the result of eating plant sources containing the hormone.

Those who got calcium from food sources might have also taken in more vitamin D, which would aid in calcium absorption.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition May 2007, Vol. 85, No. 5, 1428-1433

Yahoo News June 27, 2007

Effortless Healing – One Step at a Time – NOW AVAILABLE!

My newest book, Effortless Healing is now available! I've organized this book into a guide that will help you avoid the many pitfalls of the conventional approach to health. Rather than relying on expensive and potentially dangerous drugs, I will help you effortlessly make small shifts in what you eat and how you live to achieve your health goals. I promise, Effortless Healing isn't a book that will overwhelm you. On top of that, ordering the book today entitles you to 3 exclusive bonuses:

BONUS #1:

A sneak peek of my new book! You won’t need to wait for the book to arrive to get started. Begin reading my new book right away with your free sneak preview!

BONUS #2:

My most popular video interviews, all in one place. I’ve compiled 18 of my BEST expert interviews for you to watch and listen to at your leisure, and in the comfort of your own home or office.

BONUS #3:

Receive 15% off your next Mercola.com order. Depending on your order, your savings from this one bonus alone could more than cover the cost of your book!

All My Profits from This Book Will Be Donated

That's right. When you order a copy of my new book Effortless Healing, you'll be making a much-deserved donation to the key organizations that work quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to make the world a healthier place for you, your family, and your community.

Among them, you'll be benefiting and supporting the actions of:

  • National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) – A non-profit organization that seeks to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending your right of informed choice.
  • Organic Consumers Association (OCA) – A grassroots public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability, and addressing food safety, GMOs, the industrial agricultural complex, children's health, and more. The ONLY U.S. organization focused exclusively on the interests that you and I share!
  • Consumers for Dental Choice – Children, the unborn, and employees in the dental field are particularly vulnerable to mercury. But so is everyone with a mouthful of amalgam fillings (which are 50% mercury) at risk. Consumers for Dental Choice is working to phase out amalgam use and to promote access to mercury-free alternatives.
  • Fluoride Action Network (FAN) – An international coalition aimed at ending water fluoridation and alerting you to fluoride's environmental and health risks. FAN keeps you informed about fluoride toxicity, and monitors government actions that may expose you to fluoride.

Are you ready to get started? The timing has never been better. Order your copy of Effortless Healing today, collect your free gifts, and let your journey begin!

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This study bears out what common sense would tell you: getting calcium from food is far better than getting it from a pill. But for many of us common sense is not very common and we seek to maximize our convenience and swallow our vitamins and minerals conveniently rather than focus on receiving them from high quality supplements.

Ah, if life were just that easy that simply swallowing a few pills would solve our nutritional needs. While supplements of course can be useful, they should be viewed just as that, supplements to a high quality diet that is used in addition to not in place of a high quality diet.

As often happens when it comes to food, quality is more important than quantity; even though the women taking supplements had higher average levels of calcium, the women who got their calcium from food had stronger bones. Calcium from food is simply better absorbed and utilized by your body than synthetic calcium from a pill.

The best food source of calcium out there is that from raw milk (NOT conventional, pasteurized milk) and other raw dairy products. Dark green, leafy vegetables are another great source of calcium. Of course, it’s not just calcium that you’re better off getting from whole foods, it’s all nutrients. Your best choice is always to favor getting nutrients the way nature intended.

Vitamin D is also important for calcium absorption, so along with your raw milk and vegetables, make sure that you are getting plenty of safe sun exposure, or if that is not an option use a safe tanning bed. The last resort would be a vitamin D3 supplement, but you will need to monitor your levels if you choose this route. Because of vitamin D's role in calcium absorption, adequate vitamin D levels help to prevent osteoporosis and hip fractures.

You should also remember that, just as exercise and diet work in tandem to beat obesity, the same can be said for osteoporosis. Strengthening bone mass, especially during puberty, can build a good foundation that can last a lifetime. In fact, there is a stronger connection between exercise and improved bone density among teens than taking calcium. Finally, make sure your diet contains healthy levels of high-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, which are the stealth dietary weapon in preserving your bone density. Even many nutritionists are not aware of the important relationship between healthy bones and optimal fat intake.

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico