If your diet is low in calcium, supplementation should help. However, not all supplements are equal. Most calcium supplements are in the form of calcium carbonate, which is poorly absorbed. On the other hand, supplements in the form of Calcium Citrate, while containing less calcium than the carbonate forms, are actually absorbed much better. In addition, keep in mind that in order for calcium to be absorbed it requires an acidic environment. Ordinarily this would not be a problem. However, vegetarians, those with Achlorhydria (low stomach acid production) and the elderly may have trouble absorbing calcium due to low stomach acid production. Now before you get upset and accuse me of attacking vegetarians, this is a fact. Vegetarians, because they don’t eat meat, tend to have reduced stomach acid production over time. This is because more acid is needed to digest meat than other food like vegetables.
The other major issue related to the formation and maintenance of strong bones is vitamin D. Your body requires vitamin D to make strong bones. Fortunately, vitamin D is available inside and outside your body. Through direct exposure to the UV rays of the sun, your body is able to manufacture its own Vitamin D. In addition, your body will absorb this vitamin from the food you eat like milk, eggs and fish. Supplementation is not considered necessary for most adults. However, those who live in areas of the country where direct sunlight exposure is limited, or those who purposefully limit their sunlight exposure, such as the elderly, should take a supplement that contains the RDA (five micrograms per day for adults).
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