Why Is Calcium Important?
The body needs calcium to build and maintain healthy bones and teeth. Calcium also helps to transport ions across cell membranes, and it is necessary for proper muscle contraction. Getting enough calcium is essential for good health at every age.
Most people get some of the calcium they need from dietary sources. However, many people need additional calcium in the form of a supplement.
In addition, the body uses calcium to control the release of neurotransmitters, to control blood pressure, to promote wound healing and to promote blood clotting.
When an individual doesn't consume enough calcium, he or she may develop osteoporosis, nerve problems, digestive problems and other issues.
Because calcium is essential to so many bodily functions, the body will withdraw this mineral from the bones if it doesn't receive enough of this mineral from the diet. Over time, this leads to osteoporosis. An individual who doesn't consume enough calcium may also develop nerve problems, digestive problems and other issues. In addition, a calcium deficiency may lead to a deficiency in Vitamin D, which causes additional health concerns.
Are Supplements Really Necessary?
People mistakenly believe that drinking milk and eating cheese is sufficient to ensure adequate calcium intake.
However, the countries with the largest amounts of calcium in the diet are also the countries with the highest rates of
osteoporosis, which means that dietary calcium isn't always enough to ensure a healthy body.
Some people suffer from calcium deficiency because they don't absorb dietary calcium well.
For example, women who have gone through menopause don't absorb as much calcium from dietary sources than they once did.
Likewise, people who don't exercise frequently may not absorb as much calcium as those who are physically active, and they may also lose more calcium on a daily basis.
In addition, reduced calcium absorption may occur among people who take in significant amounts of phytates and oxalates, as well as caffeine, sugar, alcohol, certain medications and antacids.
Furthermore, high levels of stress may limit the body's ability to absorb calcium and other important minerals.
People can improve their absorption of calcium by changing some of the lifestyle factors that limit calcium absorption, as well as by increasing their intake of dietary calcium.
People can also improve absorption by taking in adequate amounts of minerals that improve absorption, including Vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. However, in many cases, improving absorption won't be enough, and calcium supplements will be required.
Types of Calcium Supplements
The most common calcium supplements are made from calcium carbonate, which is found from egg shells, coral rock sediments, oyster shells, chalk and other mineral sources.
Other calcium supplements contain calcium citrate, which is an inorganic calcium joined with citric acid in a laboratory.
Although this formulation is more expensive than calcium carbonate, it isn't really superior.
An alternative type of calcium supplement is a plant based supplement.
Plant based calcium supplement products derive all of their calcium from plant sources and provide advantages over traditional calcium carbonate and calcium citrate supplements.
Plant Based Calcium Supplement Products versus Traditional Supplements
Plant based calcium supplement products provide several advantages over traditional supplements when it comes to custom and private label vitamins including:
- Better absorption - When calcium comes from a plant based source, it is naturally bound with proteins, minerals and vitamins. The body recognizes this combination and absorbs it willingly. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, on the other hand, are not recognized by the body as a nutritional substance.
- Lower chance of complications - When someone consumes large amounts of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, some of it will be absorbed, but it may not be in the right form. When the body contains too much calcium in the wrong form, it can lead to imbalances in some of the other minerals the body needs to build strong bones. A build-up of calcium in the bloodstream can also raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, kidney stones and other complications.
- Closer to natural sources of calcium - In a perfect world, people would get all of the calcium they need from food sources. Plant based calcium supplements provide a type of calcium that is more similar to calcium from a natural source.
Although plant based calcium supplement products may be more expensive than other types of calcium supplements, significant evidence indicates that they are both safer and more effective.