Spinal Hygiene

Calcium Essential for Strong Back and Neck Bones

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Calcium is vital to bone health, and as long as you are getting enough, supplements are not necessary. Calcium is a primary building block for strong, healthy bones, especially spinal bones. A diet rich in Ca can help prevent spinal problems/issues/conditions like fractures and osteoporosis. The best and easiest way to get calcium is by eating plenty of Ca-rich foods. However, calcium supplements could be utilized to ensure the proper amount is taken daily. To determine if you need a calcium supplement, talk with your doctor to ensure it’s the best option for you.

Calcium Supplements

Calcium supplements can help individuals reach the daily recommended amount, but they are not intended to replace real Ca-rich foods. A supplement won’t be necessary if enough Ca is in your diet unless an underlying condition doesn’t allow the individual to eat certain Ca-rich foods. However, if there is only a lack of sufficient calcium intake, then supplements could help. Otherwise, if there is a continued lack of Ca, it could be detrimental to bones and overall health.

Proper Amount Every Day

Before considering a supplement, you must know how much calcium you should get each day. Daily recommendations vary by age and sex but largely depend on age:

  • Men and women aged 19-50, including pregnant women, require 1,000 mg a day
  • Men 51-70 require 1,000 mg a day
  • Women 51-70 require 1,200 mg a day
  • The elderly 71 and over require 1,200 mg a day

Your Diet

Once you know how much Ca you need, the next step is to evaluate how much to get. The American Bone Health advocacy group recommends using the Calcium Rule of 300 to determine if a supplement is necessary.

The way it works:

  • Begin with the number of dairy or juices with added calcium and the amount that is consumed daily.
  • Multiply that number by 300.
  • Add 300 if a nutritious and balanced diet is observed
  • The total is the proper dietary intake of calcium
  • If the total does not meet the recommended number, consult a doctor or health coach about a calcium supplement.

Supplement Tips

If you decide to take a supplement, check out these tips:

  • Make sure your doctor/pharmacist knows all medications and supplements being taken; this includes over-the-counter products. This is because your doctor wants to be sure they will not interfere with each other or have some negative side effects. An example of this is calcium and iron supplements can prevent each other from properly absorbing into the body when taken together.
  • Buy supplements with the USP Verified symbol, showing that the supplement has been independently evaluated and certified.

  • Rather than taking one high-dose calcium supplement, which could be more than 500-600 mg. Smaller supplements can be taken 2-3 times throughout the day.
  • The body cannot absorb more than 500-600 mg of calcium supplements at once
  • Drink plenty of water with the supplement, as certain types can cause constipation
  • Don’t take the supplement with a high-fiber meal or laxative. This fiber can prevent the body from fully absorbing the calcium.

All kinds of nutrients contribute to the development and maintenance of healthy bones, but calcium is backed by a strong body of evidence that presents a clear connection to bone health. A simple and straightforward focus on eating foods rich in calcium can help keep the bones of the spine, and the entire body for that matter, strong and supportive for life-long healthy movement.


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The information herein on "Calcium Essential for Strong Back and Neck Bones" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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