Calcium - Magnesium

Many women start taking calcium supplements during menopause, but calcium deficiency increasingly is being seen in younger women, says the June 2003 issue of the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource.

Women who aren't getting enough calcium in their diets should take a supplement, regardless of their age. If dietary intake of calcium is insufficient, calcium supplements can provide special benefit to the bones at certain times in life, such as puberty or in early menopause. But at any age, calcium benefits a woman's bones as well as muscles and nerves.

The bones serve as storage place for mineral salts and play an important role in the formation of blood cells. They also give shape to and support the body. Osteoporosis is caused by a lack of calcium in the bones. Other symptoms of calcium/magnesium deficiency are poor development of bones and teeth, hyperirritability, excessive bleeding, restlessness, insomnia, muscle cramps, back and leg pains, even asthma and hayfever. Low levels of calcium/magnesium have surfaced in victims of depression and high blood pressure.

The blood uses calcium for so many functions, that if there is a dietary deficiency of calcium, and therefore a decreased amount of calcium in the bloodstream, the body pulls the calcium it needs from the bones. This, in addition to the natural mineral loss, causes the bones to weaken and be dangerously susceptible to fractures, a potentially dangerous condition known as osteoporosis.

Other symptoms of calcium deficiency include PMS, muscle cramps, nervousness, increased cholesterol levels, insomnia, and numbness in the extremities. In 1994, the National Institute of Health reported that Recommended Daily Allowance, 800 mg, for calcium is too low, and that half of American adults are not getting enough calcium on a daily basis. They (NIH) recommend a dosage between 1,000 and 1,500 mg daily. Women need 1,500 mg of calcium a day, almost double the RDA. In research conducted at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, 1,000 mg a day has helped ease PMS symptoms, ie. mood swings, water retention, cramps.

In a recent study at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, calcium was also found to help prevent hypertension. A diet including 900 to 1,000mg of calcium per day lowered hypertension risk by 12 percent.

In a study appearing March 20, 2002 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers at Harvard evaluated the diet and colon cancer history of 135,000 men and women in two large health surveys. They found that those who consumed 700 to 800 milligrams of calcium daily significantly reduced their risk of left-side colon cancer by 40 to 50 percent.

The first large study to look at total calcium consumption in adolescents found that girls who consumed more calcium weighed less and had lower body fat. The findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2003 meeting in San Diego, as part of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences program.

Hydroxyapatite was discovered as an important addition because of its ability to help stop bone loss and has even been touted as a bone builder. Zinc, Copper, vitamin D, Manganese and Boron in proper amounts are also important to the formula for proper assimilation and utilization of calcium and magnesium. Trace Minerals in the formula along with small amounts of Amino Acids help the formula work even better. Also Horsetail herb is added for its reputation in regards to bones, hair, skin and nails.

According to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, you should take calcium supplements with a meal -- since that's when your body's absorption is at its prime.

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