As the Boomer Generation continues to age, the prevalence of osteoporosis is skyrocketing. Yet, most people may not realize that osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging. Rather, the fragile state of our bones is the result of a generation of poor eating habits. Modern convenience foods have left our bodies hungry for basic nutrients — like calcium. And for our children, who’ve grown up drinking soda instead of milk, the prognosis is even worse. Make The Calcium Connection
●Adults should get 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Adults over age 50 should have even more: 1,200 mg.
●Kids ages 4-8 should get 800 mg of calcium a day, while kids ages 9-18 should have 1,300 mg a day.
●During the critical three-to-four-year period of adolescence, kids develop 40% of their total lifetime bone mass.
●Only 44% of men and 21% of women over age 19 meet daily calcium intake recommendations in the United States.
●It is predicted that by the year 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 will have weak bones.
●Women are at an increased risk for osteoporosis — 80% of those affected by the disease are women.
●About 99% of your body’s calcium is found in your bones and teeth.
●According to the FDA, adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
●Calcium and vitamin D are like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, bagels and cream cheese — they go together. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.
Calcium is a mineral that helps build bigger, stronger bones early in life and keeps bones strong later in life to protect against osteoporosis — a thinning and weakening of the bones that can lead to fractures. Your body, however, also needs calcium for blood to clot, for blood vessels and muscles to contract and expand, to send messages through the nervous system, and to secrete hormones and enzymes.
Full Body Benefits
Your body can’t produce calcium, so you have to get it through your diet. Calcium benefits the body on many fronts, from bone health to PMS to heart health to a healthy weight.
●If you don’t get adequate amounts of calcium, your body will steal it from your bones, leading to bone loss.
●The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) says adequate calcium intake is critical for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women to reduce bone loss and fractures.
●A study of healthy premenopausal women between ages 18-45 showed that those who consumed 1,200 mg of calcium daily reduced PMS symptoms by 50 percent.
●The Harvard Women’s Health Study has linked higher levels of calcium and vitamin D intake with a lower risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women. Premenopausal women with the highest calcium and vitamin D intakes had the lowest risk of invasive breast cancer.
●A study conducted by researchers in Japan found people with higher calcium intakes had a lower risk of stroke.
●Several studies have reported that a higher intake of calcium tends to lower blood pressure.
●A review of research from more than 90 studies shows high calcium intake may reduce body fat while maintaining lean body mass, reducing weight gain and increasing weight loss on low-calorie diets.
Building Strong Bones for Life Starts Young
In boys ages 9-13, only 17 percent get adequate calcium, and 42 percent of boys ages 14-18 do. Girls fare worse. Only 12 percent of girls ages 9-13 have adequate calcium intake, and just 10 percent of girls 14-18 do.
During childhood and adolescence, it’s important for kids to get enough calcium so they develop the essential bone mass they need throughout life to reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Getting optimum levels of calcium is especially important during adolescence when the most bone mass is built. Nature also helps by increasing the efficiency of calcium absorption during puberty.
Often, if a parent isn’t getting enough calcium each day, neither are the children. Making sure everyone is getting the recommended calcium intake is a family affair and can set children up for a lifetime of stronger, healthier bones .
Got Calcium? You Better
Calcium is essential for more than just healthy bones and teeth. It helps your heart beat, increases the absorption of iron and vitamin B12, regulates cell growth and more. The key, of course, is to make smarter dietary choices by adding calcium-rich foods to every meal. Dairy foods, including yogurt, milk and cheese top the list. But there are plenty of non-dairy choices, too: salmon, tofu, rhubarb, sardines, spinach, baked beans, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, sesame seeds, almonds and more.
Calcium-fortified foods that contain vitamin D are also a good choice. Reliv Now® and Reliv Classic® each contain 100% of the RDI of calcium and vitamin D. Other Reliv products, including the new Relivables™ Fortified Soy Milk, are also an excellent source of these nutrients.
It’s never too late to start giving your body the nutrition it craves. However, it’s essential that young children, adolescents and menopausal women get the calcium they need to avoid becoming yet another statistic.
To Your Health,
Dr. Carl W. Hastings, Reliv Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer