One out of two Americans will suffer from osteoporosis by the year 2020, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. In recent years, many of us have begun taking calcium supplements on the advice of health-care practitioners because as we age, our bones lose density, flexibility and strength.
But all calcium supplements are not created equal. Absorption of calcium supplements can be compromised by many factors including the source and quality of the supplement, and the state of one’s health. For example, certain medications (i.e. corticosteroids such as prednisone, thyroid hormone supplements, acid blockers, and anti-convulsant drugs) can speed up bone loss. So, it makes sense to do everything possible to help our bodies efficiently absorb the calcium we take in through food and supplements.
Here are a few ways to enhance the absorption of calcium:
- Take the most absorbable form of calcium available. Algal calcium comes from mineralized seaweed, and its porous structure makes it the most highly absorbable calcium you can buy. It also contains naturally occurring magnesium, boron and other useful trace elements, which enhance the bioavailability. And, calcium citrate is more easily absorbed than oyster calcium.
- Take your calcium supplement in divided doses at least twice daily, rather than one large, single dose.
- Increase intestinal absorption with probiotics. As we age, our intestinal microflora decline, as does our intestinal absorption of calcium and other nutrients. Give your gut a helping hand by improving the balance of beneficial bacteria and your overall intestinal health.
- Eat more Vitamin D- and magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, almonds, cashews, seafood, and legumes. Why? Because these two nutrients help to create the hormonal balances that allow you to absorb calcium.
- Avoid white flour, sugar, too much salt, alcohol, antacids, and processed foods. All of these reduce calcium absorption and increase magnesium loss.
- Take your calcium supplement with mineral-rich herbal teas, herbal vinegars, lemon water or vegetable juice. The acidity in these foods helps with absorption of calcium.
What is your strategy to promote strong, healthy bones?
Source: Web MD