Dear Dietitian,

I am 60 years old, and I’ve always been health conscious. I eat right and exercise three times a week. Recently, I have read that too much calcium may increase your risk of a heart attack. Is this true? Also, how much is too a lot?


Dear Mary,

How often did you hear “Drink your milk” when you were a child?   Milk is a good source of calcium, which is needed with regard to healthy bone fragments.   Our bodies build bone until about age 18. After that point, we must consume adequate calcium in our diet or use supplements to maintain healthy our bones.

There is controversy among experts about the link between excess calcium plus heart attacks, and studies have produced mixed results.   Some studies have even found a decreased risk of heart disease with calcium, especially when consumed in the diet.

One theory is that will when a calcium supplement is taken, the body uses what it needs, leaving excess amounts in the blood. These calcium bits are deposited onto the particular walls associated with the arteries, increasing plaque, which narrows the arterial blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the coronary heart. When blood flow will be reduced, so is oxygen. Ultimately, a section of the center doesn’t get enough oxygen to survive, resulting in the myocardial infarction (MI), or even heart attack.

For adults, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of calcium is 1, 000 mg up to age 50. That amount increases in order to 1, 200 mg per day for women over fifty and men older than 70. Why the particular age difference? When ladies go through menopause, the body’s estrogen significantly decreases. Estrogen is needed to hinder bone breakdown. While testosterone in men serves the same function, there is no sharp decline in this hormone as presently there is along with estrogen within women.

How much is too much? The Upper Limit (UL) regarding calcium intake is 2, 000 magnesium for men age group 51 and over; intended for women the same age, the particular UL is usually 2, 500 mg.

Remember that vitamin D is essential to get calcium absorption. This vitamin can be obtained from sunlight, fortified milk, plus fatty fish like mackerel and tuna. It is also added to soy milk, juice, and prepared cereals.

It is always best to get calcium needs met by diet. One simple reason for this is you are less likely in order to ingest extra amounts of the mineral this way.   Most of us don’t drink a gallon associated with milk a day or consume 10 cups of kale. Another option is a 50/50 plan. Get half your calcium mineral needs in your diet and take a supplement that contains 500 mg of calcium supplement.

When selecting a calcium supplement, remember that calcium citrate is definitely better absorbed. It’s also wise to choose a supplement with USP on the label. This means the particular United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has tested the product pertaining to potency and absorption.

Good sources of dietary calcium include fortified me llaman milk, cow’s milk, spinach, kale, cheddar cheese, non-fat Greek yogurt, Navy beans and tofu.

Until next time, be healthy!

Beloved Dietitian Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, aka Dear Dietitian, is an award-winning dietitian based in Missouri. Her mission is to educate the public on sound, scientifically based nutrition. Do you have the nutrition question? Email her today at [email protected] com . Dear Dietitian does not endorse any products, health programs, or diet plans.

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