Bone health is a primary concern for many women who have been diagnosed with osteopenia or have a family history of osteoporosis. Dietary information on increasing bone mass can be elemental. The basics are to focus on calcium rich foods; dark leafy greens (a great source of vitamin K), salmon bones, chickpeas, dairy products and legumes, and to limit calcium excretion by avoiding drinking soft cola drinks and overly acidify foods (sweets, confectionary treats, fried foods). Along with regular weight bearing exercise (weights, yoga, childcare) and adequate exposure to sunlight (vitamin D) as well as a focus on hormonal balance.
Why and how do hormones play a role in bone density? Herein is the link behind the fact that more women than men face lower levels of structural bone density; research has shown an inverse relationship between estrogen metabolism and calcium intake. What was interesting to note was that the sources of calcium played into the outcome of estrogen metabolites: estrogen will lower the amount of calcium re-absorption. Menopause is directly linked to bone loss with low levels of progesterone and estrogen. Dietary sources gave the best results; with that said, here is a look into the different types of calcium available in capsule or tablet:
• Calcium Carbonate: While present in impressive large amounts, this form is not easily digested.
• Calcium Citrate: Bound to the amino acid citric acid to help facilitate easier breakdown and the citric acid can be utilized in energy production with a lower risk of crystal precipitates in urine.
• Calcium Ascorbate: Buffered ascorbic acid, this form is generally used for vitamin C.
• Calcium Gluconate, Lactate, Malate: Other amino acids used to chelate calcium for easier breakdown, each with its own physiological uses (i.e.: malate has benefits for reducing muscle aches associated with chronic muscle fatigue and pain).
• Calcium Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite: Composed from animal bone, this form is easily assimilated by the body, contains the full complex of minerals needed for healthy bone maintenance.
Note that a calcium supplements’ amounts indicated on the label show the elemental amount of calcium available, very high amounts may be showing the total weight rather than that which is available for absorption. What ought to be taken into consideration are formulas that contains an array of minerals. Bones are dependant not only on calcium but corresponding ratios of other minerals for proper strength, durability and function. Boron, phosphorus and magnesium are some of the key players. Magnesium plays a special role with calcium in the blood, helping to keep calcium fluid and prevent calcium deposits from forming.