Females and the Importance of Calcium

 
Marietta GA Group of Women Smiling for the Camera

Males and females are inherently different, and they both require specific supplements to help them achieve and maintain optimal life. While calcium is important for both men and women for bone health, women generally require more than men once they reach middle age as well as during and after pregnancy. Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health: perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Understanding why your body needs calcium and knowing how much to supplement into your diet is important.

Diets lacking in calcium can inhibit the growth of children and cause adults to have low bone mass. During the teen years, adolescent girls’ bones are developing quickly and storing calcium to keep the bones stronger later in life. Between the ages of 11-15, nearly half of all bone is formed, making this a critical time for girls to consume plenty of calcium in their diets. Adolescents should consume 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day, which is the equivalent of 4 servings of high-calcium foods or drinks. Compare this to adults between the ages of 19-50 who only need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.

In order for the body to properly absorb calcium, the body also needs vitamin D. Supplementing vitamin D to a diet that is rich in calcium will help to ensure that the bones are strong. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes the bones to become fragile and much more susceptible to breaking. Osteoporosis develops over time, typically caused by too little calcium in the diet, as well as genetic tendencies.

Foods rich in calcium:

  • Dairy products
  • Almond milk
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Calcium fortified foods (e.g. fruit juice, cereal)

Calcium supplements are easy ways to ensure that you are keeping an optimal level in your body. However, it is important that you speak with your doctor to determine the amount of calcium that your body needs. At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., our doctors are happy to speak with you about your needed calcium intake. Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment.