As seen on Healthy Holistic Living, the belief that calcium is pivotal for strong and healthy bones has been present in our society for a long time. However, in reality, this claim has no basis because calcium is only one of the several minerals that the body requires to maintain the health of the bones. Namely, magnesium, not necessary calcium, may play the main role for healthy bone development in childhood. Let us learn why…
Society Claims Differently
According to what we are commonly being told by our doctors and the media, calcium is necessary to avert weak bones. People believe that supplementing with calcium is decisive if we want to have strong teeth and bones. However, it appears that calcium is not as effective as thought. Here is why:
- According to a 2004 study, people with surplus calcium in their coronary artery and who take statins have a 17 times higher risk of heart attacks than people with lower amounts of calcium.
- A study from 2007 indicates that calcium obtained from the diet is better for bone health than calcium supplements in postmenopausal women.
- A study from 2008 suggests that calcium supplements increase the chance of heart attacks in women during postmenopause.
What Do Experts Think?
As emphasized by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, food remains the optimal source of calcium. And, people who receive the recommended amount of calcium from their diet do not require supplements. In fact, they can increase the risk of kidney stones and other health-related complications.
Furthermore, most of the supplements sold these days have calcium carbonate which is an inferior form of calcium and in order to increase its absorbability, manufacturers combine it with a chelating agent such as citric acid. But, the end product remains inferior to other types of calcium supplements like calcium orotate. This is the only form of calcium that can enter the cells’ membranes.
Another common myth is that including dairy products to one’s diet may elevate the calcium levels. Unfortunately, the pasteurization process through which these foods go through creates calcium carbonate, which as previously mentioned, cannot penetrate the cells without a chelating agent. As a result, the body pulls calcium from other tissues and bones to address the calcium carbonate and thus, leads to osteoporosis. So, stay away from pasteurized dairy, especially milk.
The Role of Magnesium
As seen on Healthy Holistic Living, evidence shows that intake of magnesium during childhood is vital for bone mineral content and bone density whereas calcium was not linked to such measures.
Therefore, parents need to be advised and encouraged to ensure that their children are consuming enough magnesium for proper bone mineral density in both men and women.
Supplementing with Magnesium the Right Way
Magnesium can be found in numerous forms and the recommended daily amount is 350 to 400 mg on a daily basis. But, if you want to ensure optimal levels, you may require as much as twice that amount.
A good way to take magnesium is divided throughout the day, either on an empty stomach or together with food. A great way to increase your magnesium levels is by doing Epsom salt baths because Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. When you do not have time for a bath, you can always apply some topical magnesium oil after showering.
Nonetheless, remember, the best source of magnesium remains food. Some of them are green leafy veggies, seeds, nuts, and cacao.