Am I getting enough calcium?
By Kimberly A. Harris, RN, MSN, FNP
One of the most frequent questions we get from our patients pertains to calcium and “am I getting enough?”
Our answer is “yes, you’re getting enough calcium if you’re eating a normal diet. What you most likely need to increase is your magnesium and vitamin D intake.”
About 400 mg of magnesium a day accomplishes two things: (1) ensures you retain the calcium you take in, (2) works in your bones to balance your calcium. Vitamin D can by synthesized by your skin with 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. That’s tough to accomplish in the winter, so we recommend two forms of vitamin D for oral use – vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is given by prescription and usually taken once a week. Vitamin D3 is available over the counter with the normal recommendation being 1,000 IU/day. Up to 5,000 IU/day can be taken in the case of vitamin D deficiency.
More about calcium
Calcium is everywhere these days -- in bread, milk, orange juice, pasta, yogurt, toothpaste, chewing gum, snack crackers, granola bars and more. It’s even in your drinking water.
As long as you eat anywhere near a normal diet, you are taking in about 800 mg of calcium every day – which is plenty.
Maximum bone density is achieved by age 30. When we really need to concentrate on getting our calcium is in our childhood, teenage years and up to age 30.
Postmenopausal women and calcium
It is commonly recommended that postmenopausal women take additional calcium to strengthen their bones. However, no studies have ever shown that supplemental calcium after menopause increases bone density or decreases fracture risk. In fact, too much calcium may be detrimental.
Several studies over the past five years have reported that women taking calcium supplements and having too much calcium in their bodies were 30% - 50% more likely to have heart attacks compared with women who maintained a normal amount of calcium.
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If you have questions about your calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D intake and live in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Eastern Shore, Peninsula, Hampton Roads or North Carolina, please contact our GYN clinic at (757) 312-8221 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our GYN doctors are here to help you.
About our GYN Clinic
Our GYN doctors and Nurse Practitioner provide comprehensive gynecology services to treat a broad range of GYN health issues for women in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Eastern Shore, Peninsula, Hampton Roads and North Carolina.