No mineral is more universally understood to be essential for bone health than calcium. It's the primary mineral composing our bones, and any bone-healthy lifestyle prioritizes adequate calcium consumption through diet and supplementation.
Calcium plays other vital roles throughout the body as well. Today we'll explain three often overlooked health benefits of calcium.
Calcium Supplements Linked To Longer Lifespan
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has found that calcium consumption of up to 1000mg per day helps women live longer.1
The researchers monitored the health of 9,033 Canadians between 1995 and 1997 and found that women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality risk. No statistically significant benefit was found for men.1
The study’s lead author, Dr. David Goltzman, noted that the same benefits were observed regardless of the source of the calcium. That means you can get your calcium from supplements and food sources alike, and still maximize your lifespan.
The study considered dairy sources of calcium, but the Save Institute recommends avoiding dairy products, and especially milk. (Unsweetened plain yogurt is the one exception) Fortunately, there are many other food sources of calcium that don’t have the negative health impacts of dairy products and milk.
Here are some sources of calcium to incorporate in your diet:
- Sesame seeds*
- Poppy seeds
- Canned salmon*
- Collard greens*
It’s important to avoid inorganic sources of calcium, such as calcium carbonate, since it has very poor bioavailability and can lead to undesirable health conditions, including heart attacks, kidney problems, and more.
You can read about this topic here:
A Canadian study found that supplementing with up to 1000mg of calcium per day increases women’s longevity, whether the calcium was obtained from foods or supplements. However, Savers should avoid inorganic calcium supplements.
Blood Clotting Depends On Calcium
If your body weren’t able to create blood clots, then even the most insignificant cut or scrape wouldn’t stop bleeding. Fortunately, when a blood vessel is injured, the trauma triggers a complex series of enzymatic interactions that form a clot to prevent blood loss.2
The process of blood-clot formation, called the clotting cascade, is one of the least-known functions of calcium. After a vascular injury, the platelets in the blood adhere to the collagen and other proteins in the subendothelial tissue of the vessel walls.
Next, calcium is released and binds to the developing platelet plug. The calcium provides a surface for the assembly of the additional compounds required for coagulation and the formation of a clot that will prevent further blood loss.
This process also involves another Foundation Supplement, Vitamin K, which is required for the synthesis of several proteins that mediate coagulation. In fact, Vitamin K deficiency prevents the body from creating blood clots, potentially leading to excessive bleeding.2
This is an excellent example of how the same compounds that work together to support bone health are also mutually involved in other critical bodily systems. A bone-building diet supports robust overall health.
Calcium plays a crucial role in the creation of blood clots, which allow your body to stop bleeding after an injury.
Calcium Maintains An Alkaline Serum pH
Your body will do whatever it can, including stripping alkalizing minerals from your bones, to maintain its blood serum pH within the range of 7.35 to 7.45.3.
Since the late 60s, scientists have known that the increase in metabolic acid production caused by the typical Western diet is a major contributing factor of osteoporosis. In a review of published studies on the link between specific diet components and osteoporosis, the authors concluded that a balanced diet with “a variety of fruits and vegetables is prudent for optimal bone health.”4
The review authors found substantial literature supporting the bone-health benefits of adequate calcium consumption, along with potassium and other minerals.4 This underscore’s calcium’s dual contribution to bone mass. Calcium mineralizes bone, thereby increasing bone density and improving bone quality. It also protects bone by helping to maintain an alkaline serum pH, thereby preventing the stripping of calcium in the bones.
The study’s recommendation of a calcium-rich diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables is directly in line with the Save Institute’s RESTORE protocol and pH-balanced dietary plan.
A review of research has concluded that calcium is necessary for the maintenance of an alkaline pH for osteoporosis prevention.
Calcium Is Crucial
Calcium contributes to bone health in many more ways mentioned in previous articles, from helping to maintain balance and avoid falls, to stimulating the production of bone-building osteoblasts, and more.
The Save Institute recommends following the daily allowance range of 800 to 1200mg of calcium per day through a combination of food sources and supplements. Always look for a supplement that derives calcium from an organic source, such as marine algae, to maximize your body's ability to absorb the mineral.
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You have the knowledge and the power to take simple and effective actions to achieve your health goals. Supporting a bone-healthy diet with Foundation Supplements, including calcium, is a powerful tool in the fight to reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia.