CALCIUM: Essential for Good Health
Recently, calcium has been the subject of some attention grabbing headlines. Articles published in well respected, peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association – Internal Medicine have suggested that excessive calcium (over 1400 mg daily) may cause an increase of cardiovascular disease related deaths in men, and more recently a similar observation was made for women (The BMJ). However, these reports are observational in nature (as opposed to reflecting carefully controlled, hypothesis driven research) and thus interpretation of these data should be treated conservatively. For example, on the heels of the JAMA article comes a large study from Canada (to be published in the Journal of Clinical Endrocrinology and Metabolism), which concludes calcium intake up to 1000 mg per day correlates with increased lifespan in women, regardless of the source of the calcium. How does one make sense of these conflicting conclusions?
Clearly, calcium is an essential nutrient and while too much of anything can be harmful, too little is also dangerous. In fact, this is a much overlooked conclusion of the original JAMA study. Calcium cannot be made by the body (this is true of all minerals) and therefore must come from the diet. Moreover, not all calcium is equally useful to the body. Certain forms (such as mineral chelates) are simply absorbed with greater efficiency.
Calcium is of increased importance during adolescence and young adulthood – particularly in girls and women – as these are the years where bone density is built and peak bone mass is achieved. It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of maximizing bone health early in life as this serves as an ‘insurance policy’ in later years.
The risks and benefits of calcium seem to have a ‘sweet spot’ – greater than 600 mg and less than 1400 mg per day, with 1000 mg being optimal for most adults and up to 1300 mg in preadolescents and teens (9-18 years old). According to the Institute of Medicine, Post-menopausal women at risk of developing osteoporosis should aim for 1200 mg of calcium daily. Similarly, calcium should not be a singular focus but should be considered in the context of other important nutrients – specifically Vitamin D (which is necessary for proper calcium metabolism) as well as magnesium and other trace elements known to be essential to the development of bones and teeth.
Biotron's mission is focused on improving and producing scientifically validated mineral chelates and complexes that are highly compatible with human physiology.