How Much Calcium Do You Need Daily?

Calcium / Nutrition / Treatment / September 30, 2014

Lara Pizzorno is the author of “Your Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis and Have Strong Bones for Life – Naturally” and a member of the American Medical Writers Association with 29 years of experience specializing in bone health.

Recently we asked Lara if she would help us provide a series of short, ongoing videos to help you (our customers and readers) stay up to date on the latest facts and science related to bone health and overcoming osteoporosis naturally.

In this latest video, Lara discusses one of the most common questions when it comes to calcium. How much do you need, daily? Watch the video below (or read the transcript provided) and let us know what you think in the comments. 🙂

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Hello, my name is Lara Pizzorno and I would like to talk with you today about how to have healthy bones. Specifically today our topic is on calcium. How much do you need? And are Americans getting enough? Are YOU getting enough to have healthy bones?

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, it’s called NHANES, it’s this huge survey that is run by a government agency in the U.S. to determine whether Americans are getting adequate amounts of important nutrients, and has revealed to us that most Americans are not doing a good job of getting adequate amounts of calcium. The two groups at risk of not getting adequate amounts of calcium from their diet are children age 9-18 and then adults age 51 and older. In the group of children from age 9-18, this is especially important because they are supposed to be accruing 40% of their bone mass that they need to carry them through their lives. And if they don’t get adequate calcium during these important bone-formative years they will be at much higher risk of osteoporosis later. This group of individuals are supposed to be getting 1300mg of calcium a day and from a diet they are getting a maximum of about 935 mg a day, so a serious shortfall.

In the group of us adults from 51 and older, I am in that group and I expect that you may be too if you are listening to this video – we’re supposed to be getting 1200-1500 mg of calcium per day and in actuality, from the diet, we are only getting 674 mg of calcium per day.

This is especially problematic for older adults because we absorb calcium less efficiently than we did when we were children, from the intestines, and we resorb it a lot less efficiently from the kidneys than when we were children or adolescents and we are losing more bone because as you know, we start to resorb more bone much more rapidly as we age. This is due to the falloff in hormones: estrogen in women and testosterone in men.

The estrogen drop off happens sooner in women but men also experience a drop off in the amount of testosterone they produce. In men, some testosterone, a small amount is converted to estrogen and that estrogen is critical for men’s bones. So both sexes really need to make sure that they’re getting enough calcium to make up for the deficits that they are experiencing with age.

A number of studies have been done that show that calcium supplementation can help make up for this shortfall. In postmenopausal women, research has shown that women taking a calcium supplement of just 1000 mg of calcium carbonate, along with 400 IU of vitamin D3, daily, prevented or lessened their risk of hip fracture by 29%. This research was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2006.

A very famous calcium researcher named Heaney, published a study in The Journal of The American College of Nutrition in 2000 that shows that women who did not take calcium supplements lost bone at a rate of 1% per year. But women who did take calcium supplements only lost bone at a rate of 0.014% per year. So that’s about a 100% lower rate of bone loss. Calcium supplementation can really help make up the deficits that we experience with age.

And in our next video we’ll discuss what forms of calcium might be good for supplementation. Hope this has been helpful and look forward to talking to you next time!

Author: Lara Pizzorno, MDIV, MA, LMT

Comments
Danish Riaz
Danish Riaz

Your math here is incorrect and misleading. Please explain how going from 1% to 0.014% is a 1000% difference? Its a 71.42% difference.

Reference;
“A very famous calcium researcher named Heaney, published a study in The Journal of The American College of Nutrition in 2000 that shows that women who did not take calcium supplements lost bone at a rate of 1% per year. But women who did take calcium supplements only lost bone at a rate of 0.014% per year. So that’s about a 1000% lower rate of bone loss. Calcium supplementation can really help make up the deficits that we experience with age.”

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hi Danish,

You’re right, we had a typo there! The difference should actually be 100%, and I’ve updated that in the blog post. You can use this online calculator to see how we got that number. 🙂

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Goretti Ferreira
Goretti Ferreira

Hello I like to know if Alga Cal and strontium will help someone that already have osteoporosis, or that supplement is good to prevent that.
Thanks

Monica
Monica

Hi Goretti,

AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost are clinically proven to INCREASE bone density in people who are suffering bone loss – and osteoporosis. So if you do have osteopenia or osteoporosis, we recommend these. If you are looking to prevent osteoporosis and maintain your current bone density, we recommend just using AlgaeCal Plus.

– Monica @ AlgaeCal

April
April

I thought if you got too much calcium it clogs your arteries. I overheard a doctor say that you have to track your calcium intake as to not “overdo” it but eating too much calcium in food and taking supplements also. Excess calcium ends up in your blood and causes problems?Can you address this? Thank you.

Monica
Monica

Hi April,

Great question. AlgaeCal is easier for the body to absorb because it is a natural plant sourced calcium similar to calcium you get from eating vegetables such as broccoli, kale and peas. Studies have shown that calcium from whole foods like AlgaeCal, does NOT increase heart attack risks because foods that naturally contain calcium also supply other minerals.

Your bones are not solely made up of calcium, but are made up of a matrix of vitamins and minerals. That is why AlgaeCal has additional magnesium, boron, vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 as well as 70 other trace minerals, which optimize absorption and transfer calcium directly to your bones rather than soft tissues like arteries, kidneys etc. All these factors translate to an absorption rate of 97% for AlgaeCal. AlgaeCal is also much safer for you because it is more effective at a lower dosage. In our human study, all 176 participants were able to increase their bone mineral density of up to 1% in 12 months with taking 720 mg of calcium from AlgaeCal daily.

I hope this answered your question. If you have any others, please do not hesitate!

– Monica @ AlgaeCal

Mary Ulsh
Mary Ulsh

The best way to get the calcium a person needs is taking whole food supplements. Also eating food like cheese, yogurt and vegetables like broccoli and kale. Regular calcium supplements do not work. I have taken calcium supplements for years and they did nothing for me. When I can I will buy AlgaCal as it is whole food supplement.
Sincerely, Mary Ulsh

Monica
Monica

Hi Mary,

Thank you for your comment! You’re right, it’s important to supplement as well as eat calcium-rich foods for your bone health.

– Monica @ AlgaeCal

Sandra Finch
Sandra Finch

What about the Calcium/Magnesium ratio? What kind of magnesium is best since I have recently found out I am deficient in magnesium.

Monica Lam-Feist
Monica Lam-Feist

Hi Sandra,

With regards to calcium and magnesium, a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium is necessary for proper absorption of calcium. The human body has a natural ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium and this is the same in AlgaeCal Plus. Too much magnesium will compete with calcium for absorption, but with this 2:1 ratio, it will not as it is the most efficient ratio.

As for what kind of magnesium is best, there are no significant studies that have proven any one form of magnesium is better than the others. The magnesium we used in AlgaeCal’s study is magnesium oxide combined with magnesium carbonate. Because magnesium must be bound with another substance to be absorbed adequately, we chose these forms because their molecular mass is higher.

Let me know if you have any other questions,

– Monica @ AlgaeCal

Florence
Florence

I have osteopenia and had a hip fracture when I took a fall a couple of years ago. I was told by one MD to take Calcium Citrate and another told me not to take it because we get enough Calcium in our diet. (My father had calcium deposits when he died in surgery for an angioplasty at age 75.) What I have read about your product makes sense and I am interested but it is out of my budget at this time. Is there any way of earning your product. I would like to see an improvement in my bone density.

Monica
Monica

Hi Florence,

Thank you for your interest in AlgaeCal. Unfortunately, we do not offer a way to earn our product, but we do offer a significant discount if you buy multiple bottles of AlgaeCal and is explained on our products page.

– Monica @ AlgaeCal

Georgiana
Georgiana

I was unable to absorb calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. Prescription bone medications did not work for me. Not until I used Algae Cal and Strontium did I see an increase in my bone density. Thank Goodness

Monica
Monica

Hi Georgiana,

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s great to hear that AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost increased your bone density!

– Monica @ AlgaeCal

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