Calcium and health.

Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It is involved in a wide range of biochemical functions, and is used by virtually every tissue of the body. We have all heard that it is necessary for the development of teeth and bones, but few know that it controls the electrical firing of nerves and their ability to "reset" once activated. It also is important in regulating blood pressure and in the ability to burn fat stores inn the body.

The following articles are just a small sample of what is available from medical search engines in reference to calcium.

There has always been a question as to which type of calcium is the best. This can only be answered by looking at the levels of persons in question. In my experience, people take a variety of things and never know what's being absorbed. Some might absorb one type of calcium over another. 

In all patients that I have seen over 18 years, I have done testing for vitamins and minerals, and in many cases I see deficiency. I have recommended a supplement that uniquely has a multisource combination of calcium to ensure the best possible absorption. If a person doesn't intake one type of calcium well, then they would be more likely to do well with a combination source.

The average corrected recommendation for intake should be about 1500 to 2000 mg daily, but remember that this has to be correlated with blood levels to see if that is enough.  

To see a multisource calcium product CM click here…………….. 

Thanks, Dr. Chris Calapai


Effects of physical activity and dietary calcium intake on bone mineral density and osteoporosis risk in a rural Thai population.

The objective of the study was to determine the effects of modifiable risk factors on bone mineral density in postmenopausal Thai women. Dietary calcium intake (g/day), energy expenditure (kcal/day), and sunlight exposure (h/day) were assessed in 129 rural Thai women aged 63 years (range 50 to 84 years).



Bone mineral density (BMD) at the femoral neck, lumbar spine, and distal radius were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The average dietary calcium intake was 236 ± 188 g/day (mean ± SD), while the energy expenditure was 2,118 ± 656 kcal/day with 1.1 ± 1.7 h of sunlight exposure. In multiple linear regression analysis, dietary calcium intake, energy expenditure, and years since menopause were significant and independent predictors of BMD at various sites. The three factors together accounted for between 35% and 45% of the variance of BMD. The prevalence of osteoporosis (defined as BMD T-scores –2.5) was 33% at the femoral neck, 42% at the lumbar spine, and 35% at the distal radius.



The risk of osteoporosis was higher in women with lower dietary calcium intake ( 138 mg/day; prevalence rate ratio [PRR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 1.9), lower energy expenditure ( 1,682 kcal; PRR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.3), and greater years since menopause ( 6 years; PRR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2 to 5.8). The population attributable risk fraction of osteoporosis risk due to the three factors was 70%.


These results suggest that in the Thai population, low dietary calcium intake and low physical activity together with advancing years since menopause were independent risk factors for low BMD. 


National patterns of calcium use in osteoporosis in the United States.

OBJECTIVE: Although calcium intake is considered integral to appropriate management of osteoporosis, we hypothesized that the recent therapeutic dominance of bisphosphonates in osteoporosis results may have led calcium to be neglected as a component of effective management.


STUDY DESIGN: Two national databases were used to assess the adequacy of calcium intake in patients with osteoporosis. Trends in reported supplemental calcium use among physician visits by patients with osteoporosis were assessed using nationally representative 1994-2004 IMS HEALTH National Disease and Therapeutic Index data. Quantity of calcium intake, from both supplements and food, among individuals with osteoporosis (n = 38 men and 376 women) was estimated using the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).


RESULTS: Physician visits for osteoporosis in the United States increased 4.5-fold between 1994 (1.3 million visits) and 2004 (5.8 million visits). During this time the proportion of osteoporosis visits in which bisphosphonates were prescribed increased from 14% to 81%, while reported calcium use fell from 43% to 23% of visits. Among osteoporosis patients in NHANES, 64% reported using calcium-containing supplements. Reported median calcium intake was 433 (interquartile range: 295, 705) mg/d for calcium supplement nonusers and 1,319 (845, 1,874) mg for calcium supplement users. Overall, only 40% of osteoporosis patients had calcium intake exceeding 1,200 mg/d.


CONCLUSION: While osteoporosis is increasingly identified and treated with effective medications, calcium is being neglected as a component of osteoporosis management. Despite the fact that the efficacy of new osteoporosis medications depends on adequate calcium intake, reported calcium intake in osteoporosis patients is far below recommended levels. 


Calcium Modulation of Hypertension and Obesity: Mechanisms and Implications.

Regulation of intracellular calcium plays a key role in hypertension and obesity. Dysregulation of calcium homeostasis appears to be a fundamental factor linking these conditions. Regulation of intracellular calcium in key disease-related target tissues by calcitrophic hormones provides the opportunity to modulate disease risk with dietary calcium. Overall, sub-optimal calcium intakes contribute to the etiology of salt-sensitivity and hypertension.


High salt diets exert a calciuretic effect, serving to exacerbate the physiological consequences of sub-optimal calcium diets. Among these are increases in 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which increases vascular smooth muscle intracellular calcium, thereby increasing peripheral vascular resistance and blood pressure. Dietary calcium reduces blood pressure in large part via suppression of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, thereby normalizing intracellular calcium.


The practical relevance of this approach has been confirmed in the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) trial, which demonstrated that increasing low-fat dairy product and fruit and vegetable consumption exerted profound blood pressure-lowering effects. The magnitude of this effect among hypertensives was comparable to that typically found in pharmacological trials of mild hypertension. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D also stimulates calcium influx in human adipocytes, resulting in stimulation of lipogenesis, inhibition of lipolysis and expansion of triglyceride stores.


Accordingly, suppression of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D by dietary calcium has been identified as a target, which may contribute to the prevention and management of obesity. Indeed, laboratory, clinical and population data all indicate a significant anti-obesity effect of dietary calcium, although large-scale prospective clinical trials have not yet been conducted to definitively demonstrate the scope of this effect. Thus, available evidence indicates that increasing dietary calcium intakes may result in reductions in fat mass as well as in blood pressure. 


Calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce tooth loss in the elderly.

Purpose: Oral bone and tooth loss are correlated with bone loss at nonoral sites. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation slow the rate of bone loss from various skeletal sites, but it is not known if intake of these nutrients affects oral bone and, in turn, tooth retention.

Subjects and methods: Tooth loss was examined in 145 healthy subjects aged 65 years and older who completed a 3-year, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on bone loss from the hip, as well as a 2-year follow-up study after discontinuation of study supplements. Teeth were counted at 18 months and 5 years. A comprehensive oral examination at 5 years included assessment of caries, oral hygiene, and periodontal disease. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of tooth loss were estimated by stepwise multivariate logistic regression. Initial age (mean ± SD) of subjects was 71 ± 5 years, and the number of teeth remaining was 22 ± 7.

Results: During the randomized trial, 11 of the 82 subjects (13%) taking supplements and 17 of the 63 subjects (27%) taking placebo lost one or more teeth (OR = 0.4; 95% CI: 0.2 to 0.9). During the 2-year follow-up period, 31 of the 77 subjects (40%) with total calcium intake of at least 1000 mg per day lost one or more teeth compared with 40 of the 68 subjects (59%) who consumed less (OR = 0.5; 95% CI: 0.2 to 0.9).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that intake levels of calcium and vitamin D aimed at preventing osteoporosis have a beneficial effect on tooth retention.  

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