Evidence based medical wellness for active people from a doc who walks the walk

Why I take calcium


I take calcium supplements, and I am proud of it!  We in the medical field went through a phase where we started taking women off of calcium supplements, becauase some studies had shown that there was an increased risk of stroke and heart disease in women that took supplements. Yikes! The sky was falling, and crushing our thinning bones!

Turns out, as it often does, that the sky was not falling.  Calcium with vitamin D, according to a meta-analysis study (a type of study where the results of several studies are grouped and analyzed), doesn’t cause an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.  It may even have some protective effects against these two diseases!

So there are some simple, reasonable steps to take to prevent osteoporosis:

  • Get enough exercise, especially weight bearing (walking/running) and lift weights!
  • Eat leafy greens (broccoli, turnips, mustard greens, and the darling of the health food set, kale.
  • Eat dried figs.
  • Eat fish like sardines.  (Yeech.)
  • Eat nuts like almonds and brazil nuts.  (I hate brazil nuts, and pick them out of my nut mix.  I will happily put ’em in a baggie and send them to anyone who wants them.  Let me know if you are interested.)
  • Eat yogurt, milk, etc.  Currently I am in to Siggi yogurt.
  • Stop smoking, dammit! (I think I will just include this at the bottom of every post.)
  • Take a calcium vitamin D supplement if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet.
  • Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Calcium [1]
    Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
    0–6 months* 200 mg 200 mg
    7–12 months* 260 mg 260 mg
    1–3 years 700 mg 700 mg
    4–8 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
    9–13 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
    14–18 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
    19–50 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
    51–70 years 1,000 mg 1,200 mg
    71+ years 1,200 mg 1,200 mg

    * Adequate Intake (AI)

Alright then, glad we cleared that one up!



Author: PookieMD

I am a board certified internal medicine physician. I love medicine and seek to bring evidence based medicine to the fitness and wellness world.

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