24 Apr Calcium Essential for Strong Bones & Sound Sleep
Did you know that Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the human body, is not only essential for strong bones, it also supports healthy functioning of the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems? Research shows a relationship between Calcium intake and risk for heart disease, colorectal cancer, kidney stones, PMS, and managing a healthy weight. When it comes to sound sleep, insufficient dietary Calcium has been associated with insomnia. Calcium is instrumental in the way our brains cycle through the stages of sleep and in the ability to generate brain chemicals, including tryptophan, associated with deep sleep.
The best way to get calcium is through whole foods. Dairy products are abundant in the mineral form that’s easy for most people to digest. Other non-dairy sources of calcium include almonds, dark leafy greens, and tofu. However, figuring out how much calcium you’re actually getting from veggies is tricky. If a vegetable contains oxalic or phytic acid, then the calcium may be poorly absorbed because of the acids. For example, 1 c. of frozen spinach contains nearly as much calcium as 1 c. of milk, but only a tenth as much is absorbed because of the oxalic acid.
For a healthy adult, the recommended intake for a Calcium supplement is 1,000 – 2,000 mg daily, depending on the health status and lifestyle habits of the individual. There are many factors and forms of calcium supplements (e.g., carbonate, citrate), that affect how well the body absorbs the mineral. I prefer calcium lactate, which is the closest to the whole food form of calcium and easily absorbable. One needs sufficient amount of Vitamin D to bring calcium from the gut into the bloodstream and many other nutrients to bring calcium from the blood into the tissue. Too much calcium can stress other bodily systems, leading to health problems. For these reasons, consult with a health practitioner as to which type and dosage of calcium is best for you.
Calcium: Linus Pauling Institute of Micronutrient Information http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/calcium
Calcium Supplements: University of Maryland Medical Center Database http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/calcium-supplements
Calcium Information: University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/calcium#ixzz3oSwIJYRs
Medline Plus: Types of Calcium Supplements https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007477.htm
National Institutes of Health Consumer Fact Sheet https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007477.htm
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Siwek, Magdalena Elisabeth et al. “The CaV2.3 R-Type Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channel in Mouse Sleep Architecture.” Sleep 37.5 (2014): 881–892. PMC. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3985108/
Barbosa, R., et al., “Tryptophan hydroxylase is modulated by L-type calcium channels in the rat pineal gland.” Life Science. 2008 Feb 27;82(9-10):529-35. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2007.12.011. Epub 2007 Dec 23. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320507008855
How Well Does Calcium Really Protect Your Bones? http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-well-does-calcium-intake-really-protect-your-bones-201509308384