Articles on calcium

Fruits - Calcium Supplements

Dr. Priyam Sharma, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Apropos body requirements, calcium demands need to be taken care of.  It is important since it is an absolutely essential mineral that helps support the development of healthy teeth, bones, muscles and much more.  Calcium is indispensable mineral for human anatomy; it plays a vital role in our body. Hence, it is important to get adequate calcium. Dietary calcium is a better option than a supplement. Research has repeatedly discovered relationships between calcium deficiency and obesity. Getting enough calcium is a goal everyone needs to be consciously working to achieve.People look for always dairy products and non-vegetarian options. But very few people know that even FRUITS can supplement them very nicely-1. Oranges and TangerinesLoaded with 43 mg of the recommended 1,000 to 2,000 mg daily intake for the average person, oranges and tangerines also contain a powerful amount of vitamin C.2. Dried ApricotsDried apricots contain 5mg of calcium in a 100g serving. A perfect choice for everyone, but especially hikers, bikers, and campers.3. KiwiThis tropical fruit looks rejuvenating because it is. Kiwi provides 34 mg of calcium per 100g serving. 4. DatesDates are a delight for sweet toothed people. But did you know that each date contains around 15 mg of calcium?5. Dried Figs241 mg of calcium per cup and 13 mg per an individual fig, is per day recommendation.6.  PrunesIn addition to aiding the colon and relieving from constipation, prunes (specifically dried prunes) can offer up 75 mg of calcium in a single cup.7. Mulberries8. Dried  currantsWith  tangy flavor, it provides calcium up to  124 mg per cup.9. Dried pears 61 mg per cup. 10. WatermelonLast but not least, It gives 11 mg calcium to our body.

Top Food Sources of Calcium

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Human body needs calcium to build strong bones when we are young and to keep bones strong as we get older. Moreover, it's also needed for the proper function of nerves, muscles, kidneys and the heart. Not having enough calcium in the diet is one of the many factors associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and low bone density.Expert's advice to always initiate adding the calcium rich food sources before starting with additional supplements. Dairy products are the most obvious choice when it comes to calcium rich foods but they are not the only food source which provides calcium. Here’s a list of top food sources of calcium to help you get your daily recommended allowance -Milk: A glass of milk is one of the best way to start your day and to fulfill your calcium requirements. Go for low fat milk and avoid adding high sugar flavoring powders. Go for cinnamon, cardamom or unsweetened cocoa powder. 1 cup low fat milk provides 102 calories and 305 mg calcium.Yogurt: Yogurt is a tasty way to get your daily calcium. 1 cup low fat plain yogurt provides 154 calories and 415 mg calcium. It is one of the best food sources of calcium. Avoid flavored yogurts as they contain added sugar and calories. Go for home-made plain yogurt with fresh fruits.Tofu: Also known as Bean curd, it is a soymilk derivative. It is a common component in many East Asian and southeast Asian cuisines. A little sour than our regular cottage cheese, 100 gm provides a good 350 mg calcium and 76 calories. Include pan-grilled or lightly sautéed Tofu in curries or salads.Spinach: It can be used in various preparations and can be a part of every meal due to its unique taste and texture. 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 41 calories and provides 245 mg of calcium. It has been said that oxalates and phytates present in spinach hinder calcium absorption. However, cooking spinach reduces the effect of these compounds and helps in calcium absorption.Sesame Seeds: These nutty and crunchy seeds are a rich source of calcium and good fat which also make them a must have food for lactating women. 1 tbsp of sesame seeds provides 52 calories and 88 mg calcium. But make sure you do not go overboard with the quantity.

Calcium Deficiency and How to Remove It

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for our blood to be able to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates.most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones. THE ROLE OF CALCIUMCalcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates. Main function of Calcium - Calcium is required for bone mineralization (bones & teeth), muscle contraction (heart), nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Used to treat osteoporosis, osteopenia and hypocalcemia. You have more calcium in your body than any other mineral. Calcium has many important jobs. The body stores more than 99 percent of its calcium in the bones and teeth to help make and keep them strong. The rest is throughout the body in blood, muscle and the fluid between cells. It is important to get plenty of calcium in the foods you eat. Calcium Rich Foods :Low fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, and leafy, green vegetables. The exact amount of calcium you need depends on your age and other factors:Growing children and teenagers need more calcium than young adults.Older women need plenty of calcium to prevent osteoporosis.People who do not eat enough high-calcium foods should take a calcium supplement. Milk and Calcium Low-fat or fat-free milk is a great source of calcium because Milk contains a lot of calcium in a form that the body can easily absorb.Milk has other important nutrients that are good for bones and teeth. One especially important nutrient is vitamin D, which helps the body absorb more calcium.Milk is widely available and is already a part of many people's diets.CALCIUM DEFICIENCYWhile a balanced diet aids calcium absorption, high levels of protein and sodium (salt) in the diet are thought to increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. Excessive amounts of these substances should be avoided, especially in those whose calcium intake is low. Lactose intolerance also can lead to inadequate calcium intake. Those who are lactose intolerant have insufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down the lactose found in dairy products. In order to include dairy products in the diet, dairy foods can be taken in small quantities or treated with lactase drops, or lactase can be taken as a pill. There are even some milk products on the market that already have been treated with lactase. CALCIUM DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS calcium deficiency can result in or cause certain conditions that may result in poor health.  include adequate amounts of fresh green leafy vegetables and low fat dairy products to ensure adequate intake of not just calcium but vitamin D and phosphorous. Additionally getting adequate exposure to fresh air and sunlight each week, will ensure absorption of Vitamin D. Myth - White spots on the fingernails are a sign of calcium deficiency. They are not. Rickets are the softening and weakening of bones in children, which may be the result of extreme vitamin D deficiency, which in turn makes it difficult to maintain proper calcium and phosphorus levels in bones. Osteoporosis, meaning "porous bones," is when bones become weak and brittle that even mild stresses like bending over, lifting heavy items  or coughing can cause a fracture. In most cases, bones weaken when you have low levels of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals in your bones.CALCIUM DOSAGEIf you have trouble getting enough calcium in your diet, you may need to take a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium you will need from a supplement depends on how much calcium you obtain from food sources. There are several different calcium compounds from which to choose, such as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, among others. Except in people with gastrointestinal disease, all major forms of calcium supplements are absorbed equally well when taken with food. Calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less) several times throughout the day. In many individuals, calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken with food.  Calcium  Overdose Potential side effects of excessive consumption of calcium Decreased absorption of other minerals such as iron, zinc, and manganese if taken at the same time. Constipation is an early sign of overdosing. 

7 Natural Resources Of Calcium In Your Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Around 99% of the total body calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. Remaining 1% is found in the blood, muscle, and cell fluids where it is needed for muscle contraction to make limbs move, heart contraction, blood clotting, secretion of hormones and enzymes; and sending messages through the nervous system.According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends:600mg of calcium per day for your children aged from 1 to 9 years of ageThe recommendation increases to 800mg per day for children ageing 10 years and above. It continues to be the same till they are adolescents ( till 17 years of age). Children need more calcium than adults for growing bonesA normal adult male and female requires 600mg/dayCalcium RDA increases to 1200mg/d for pregnant and lactating mothers to meet the increased needs of the baby in the womb and to compensate for calcium secreted in the breast milkMilk = 1 cup milk (non fat) 245g = 299mgYogurt = 100g = 110mgCheese = 100g = 83mgSoybeans = 100g = 277mgTofu = 100 = 350mgAlmonds = 100g = 264mgSesame seeds = 100g = 975mgSome important facts about calcium:Vitamin D is essential for adequate calcium absorptionThere are some anti-nutritional factors in certain foods which decrease the absorption of calcium. These are oxalates present in green leafy vegetables, horse gram dal, gingelly seeds etc; and phytates present in whole cereals. They bind calcium and make it unavailable for absorptionWhen the dietary intake of calcium is low, the release of calcium from bones increases in order to maintain blood levels. If this process continues for long, bones will ultimately become so weak that they may break

Demystifying the Calcium Conundrum

Dr. Sony Mishra, Dentist
How Much Calcium Do You Really Need?Calcium is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Not only does it help build strong bones and teeth, but it’s also vital for proper muscle and nerve functioning. It even helps blood clot!What’s the right amount? Your daily calcium needs vary depending on life stage: Infants from birth to 1 year: 400-600 mg Children aged 1-10: 800 mg Preteens and teenagers: 1,200 – 1,500 mg Adults: 1,200 mg Pregnant women: 1,500 – 2,000 mg Lactating women: 1,200 – 1,500 mg Seniors: 1,500 mg What to find it? Dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt are the best food sources of calcium. However, there are also many non-dairy foods high in calcium. Those include sardines, dark leafy greens (kale, turnips, and collard greens), soybeans, and tofu. You can also look for foods fortified with calcium like orange juice, cereal, and soymilk among others.How to best absorb it: Vitamin D is key because it helps the body adsorb calcium. In fact, the body cannot absorb any calcium without having some vitamin D present. The top sources of vitamin D are sunlight, and certain food items like eggs, butter, fatty fish, and most foods fortified with calcium.Will having Calcium Supplements now make my teeth stronger or healthier?Well, not really if you are an adult. The outer layer of the teeth is made up of enamel in which Calcium is an important constituent. However, the calcium absorbed into our blood from the food we take or the additional supplements we are prescribed does not really find its way into these outer layers of the teeth once we have grown into adults.So is there no way to improve the Calcium content in our teeth or strengthen them?Some topical preparations like those derived from Casein Phosphate have shown some beneficial results in this regard. Consult your dentist to get more updates on the best possible alternative in your case.

Remember Osteoporosis Today, Besides Fractures Low Calcium Causes Heart Failure.

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
Calcium and fat soluble Vitamin D are important for healthy bones to regenerate.Wear and tear is more in women during reproductive years due to extra demands of lactation and pregnancy with a growing up baby taking up resources from mother.A Recent Study has suggested that extra intake of oral tablets of calcium can be Dangerous for the heart.Another study has suggested that 'weak' bones are related to more incidences of a Heart Failure !Decide for yourself about How to keep both Bones and Heart Healthy.Eat a Calcium rich food and Dairy products minus fats are Still the rich source of calcium which can be digested with advancing age.Fresh Oxygen is as Important for bone and heart health. Keep walking regularly in a place with fresh plants with clean leaves. No need to inhale dusty air due to plants in a nearby park having dusty leaves all around.Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables are good sources of calcium. Remember that Calcium is a mineral and one needs a good supply of inherent enzymes to digest the Calcium well.Vitamin D is manufactured by our liver and it is called Sunshine Vitamin as Sun helps to produce this vitamin.  Sun Exposure should be uninterrupted for at least half an hour, and I suggest to women to Expose their backs to sun ,it gives exposure to larger area and 'saves' the face from getting tanned !Vitamin K , another fat soluble vitamin is present in good fats like pure ghee or butter and nuts.Vitamin K helps Better Absorption of Vitamin D.Besides these 2 essential vitamins for bones , calcium as a mineral ,helped by Zinc and Magnesium.Normally around Menopause time , presumption is that every woman is prone to fractures besides having a weak heart. Calcium along with Vitamin D are given as a routine supplements.Can we do without supplements ? If No Supplements are given--There is risk of Fractures to bones and Risk of a Heart Failure,specially if woman is also having high BP , Diabetes and has a strong family history of Heart AttacksIf supplements are given , calcium can get Deposited within blood vessels.Follow the middle path.Depend more on food and less on supplements but do take a low dose if bones are found to be weak on testing .No Need to take a Weekly Dose of 60,000 I U but one can have around 500 IU of Vitamin D per day.Low Dose of Vitamin D supplement may be safe if taken along with fat soluble Vitamin K through good fats.Regarding Calcium supplements ,do take but only If Tests Reveal Weak Bones.

Curd vs Milk - How Should You Get Your Daily Dose of Calcium?

Dr. Rajiv Mehta, Physiotherapist
Calcium is an essential mineral that is required by the body for various functions. It is used for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It is also used in the cardiovascular & nervous systems for preventing all kinds of health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lyme disease, etc.It is, thus, extremely necessary to have calcium-rich foods as a part of your daily diet. Dairy products constitute as the primary source of calcium on an everyday basis. Of these, milk and curd are the two most important. But in case, you're wondering which one of the two is better for you, read on to find out.Calcium contentThere has been much debate about which is the better source of calcium - milk or curd. In very simple terms, milk ranks higher than curd in terms of calcium content. 100g of milk contains around 125mg of calcium, whereas 100g of curd has a lower calcium content of approximately 85mg. So if you really want to up your calcium intake, milk will be a better choice.Other health benefitsIf one is to take into consideration other health benefits provided by these two food products, curd takes the lead by a landslide.Following are the known benefits of curd:It is far easier to digestIt is a suitable dairy product for those who are lactose intolerantIt cleanses the digestive tractIt prevents infections of the stomach and intestinesIn the end, it's for you to decide what your body needs more. If it requires more calcium, choosing milk would be wise but if you cannot digest milk, opting for curd will ensure you get a healthy dose of calcium along with scores of other health benefits.

Childhood Urinary Tract Infection

Dr. Anish Kumar Gupta, Andrologist
By the time a child is 5 years old, about 8 percent of girls and 1 - 2 percent of boys have had a urinary tract infection (UTI). Bacteria are not normally found in urine. UTIs are more common in girls than boys. Infections are more common in the urethra and bladder, which make up the lower part of the urinary tract. Infections that move up to the kidneys can be more serious. If left untreated, these infections have a risk of leading to kidney failure.Signs and SymptomsSigns of UTI may be difficult to assess in young not toilet trained children.Pain, or burning when urinatingFrequent urination or feeling an increased urge to urinate, even without producing urineFoul-smelling urine that may look cloudy or contain bloodFeverLow back pain or pain in the area of the bladderDiagnosis and TreatmentA sample of urine will be taken for examination. Older children will most often be asked to urinate in a sterile container. Babies and small children in diapers may need a catheter (tube) to collect urine. The catheter keeps the sample from being contaminated by bacteria on the skin. The type of bacteria found may help decide the best drug to treat the UTI, usually antibiotics. It is important to give your child all the antibiotic course, even if he or she is feeling better. Most UTIs will be cured within a week if treated properly. The child should be urged to drink plenty of fluids. If a child has more than one UTI or has fever along with symptoms of UTI, he or she should see a Urologist. A Urologist will see if anything is abnormal in the child’s urinary tract. A common problem causing UTIs in children is a backwards flow of urine,  condition known as VUR.PreventionFrequent diaper changes can help prevent UTIs in babies and small children.When children start toilet training, it is important to teach them good bathroom habits. After each bowel movement, children should wipe from front to rear — not rear to front. When feeling the urge to urinate, children should also avoid “holding it” if they can reach a bathroom. Urine remaining in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.If in doubt, consult a pediatrician or a urologist immediately. 

Kidney Stones: Ideal Diet For Cure

Dr. Anish Kumar Gupta, Andrologist
A high incidence of Kidney stone disease, is seen these days with reports suggesting a prevalence of 1 in 7 people suffering from it.Q: What is single most Important aspect of diet to reduce chance of stonesA: Drinking enough fluid is the most important aspect. As a rough guide one should try to keep urine colourless throughout the day; this equals to a urine output of at least 2 litres per day. All extra loss by sweating must be replaced.Q: What can be taken to drink?A: Water is the best drink. Herbal tea is okay but Caffeinated tea, coffee should be consumed only in moderation Cola drinks and alcoholic beverages are not suitable.Q: Is there a specific dietary advise you give to your patients ?A: A well-balanced diet without excessive amount of calories. A high fibre diet is also important, Most important is a diet low in salt. Avoid high-salt, tinned, packet and processed foods (e.g. soups, salted chips, pickles and papad.Q: Can stone formers eat dairy products and other protein?A: Yes, but intake of protein should be restricted. A high intake of animal protein appears to increase the risk of stone formation. Q: I’ve heard that calcium is a bad thing to have in the diet if you have kidney stones. Is this true?A: Kidney stones usually contain calcium. Traditionally it was thought that it was beneficial to restrict calcium, but it has now been shown better to have a moderate or even slightly higher calcium intake. The reason for this is that calcium binds oxalate in the gut and prevents it being absorbed. A daily intake of up to 1000mg per day is recommended for calcium stone formers. It might be important to reduce the calcium in your diet, in certain specific conditions.Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, curd, cream and cheese. A normal, varied diet will give the average person about 500mg of calcium before adding in any dairy products. Milk and curd contain about 120mg per 100cc.Q: An age old adage is “Avoid green vegetables, tomatoes and nuts”. Is this true?A: These are oxalate rich food products. It is not necessary to exclude oxalate-rich foods completely; simply eat them in small amounts. Other foods high in oxalate are: Beetroot, Strawberries, Black Tea, Chocolate.Q: Are there any other tests that can be done to investigate why stones form?A: Yes. In all patients who have had a kidney stone blood tests are done to check the kidney function and also ensure that the levels of uric acid or calcium in the blood are not too high. In high risk stone formers, or those who have had recurrent stones, then collection of two 24hr urine specimens for analysis is important. Your doctor can tell you more about this.