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Why is calcium so important to older women?

Proper calcium intake is important to everyone throughout life because calcium is critical to the health and longevity of our bones. Older women must pay particular attention to meeting daily calcium needs. Women, beginning at age 51 (and both men and women over age 71), need 1,200 mg of calcium a day. Females have a higher rate of bone loss when estrogen levels decline with menopause because estrogen enhances calcium absorption and decreases its excretion. Therefore, after menopause, women’s need for calcium increases if they do not take estrogen replacement. Also, as we age we produce less stomach acid which hinders calcium absorption. Compounding absorption problems in the elderly is low vitamin D levels due to diet and lack of sunlight. Furthermore, females have a lighter bone structure than men, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis refers to marked loss in bone mass and increased bone fragility (more porous) in adults. Around age 30, the bone begins to lose minerals, causing it to become more porous and fragile. Between the ages of 30 and 50, 3% to 5% of the bone is lost every year. This levels out to about 1% after age 50. Lifestyle and genetic factors can further exacerbate this loss. In summary: low calcium intakes, vitamin D deficiency, lack of hormone (estrogen) replacement therapy (HRT), low bone density to begin with, and an inadequate diet all contribute to poor bone health. So make sure you are getting 1200 mg daily of calcium with ~1000 IU of vitamin D. Also, supplement only 500mgs of calcium at a time because that’s about all the body can use effectively from one dose. Therefore, if your health professional tells you that you need to add 1000 mg/day of calcium in the form of a supplement, take calcium carbonate in 2-doses: one 500 mg tablet with a morning meal and one with an evening meal. That said, you always want your daily intake of vitamins and minerals to stay within the safe optimal range, which you can be assured of when using dotFIT products. All formulas are designed to work synergistically with other dotFIT products in order to avoid nutrient overages, which are common with typical, indiscriminate supplement use. Women over 50 should use the Over 50 dotFIT multivitamin/mineral and add the Superior Calcium in order to meet all daily vitamin D and calcium needs.
As women age their levels of estrogen decrease. Estrogen plays a role in bone production so as grandma gets older she produces less bone. Taking calcium, and taking it early, is important to ensure that women have a sturdy bone matrix as they approach menopause. The Women's Health Initiative has shown that women on Calcium and Vitamin D supplements had 12% fewer hip fractures than those on placebo with 4% fewer overall fractures.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The mineral calcium plays such an important role in the body it’s hard to find a cell that is not affected by it. Calcium is the main component of bone-providing structure and strength. When women grow older and go through menopause, calcium leaches out of bones, upping your risk for fractures after a fall due to the pressure of the fall on bone deficient in calcium (a bone with osteoporosis). Women should aim for 1000 to 1200 milligrams (mg) a day of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate that is combined with 1000 IU of vitamin D3 to help with absorption and remodeling, and 400 mg of magnesium to prevent constipation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.