Most people probably think of calcium supplementation in terms of preventing osteoporosis: a disease in which bones become extremely porous, are subject to fracture, and heal slowly. It occurs especially in women following menopause and often leads to curvature of the spine from vertebral collapse. The recommended daily allowance for women over fifty is 1,200 mg. It’s actually a good idea for most every adult to supplement at this level, male or female, regardless of age. Always take calcium together with magnesium (in a 2:1 ratio) in order to improve absorption and avoid constipation.
Now, researchers have found a relationship between calcium supplementation and hypertension. Going from 600 mg to 1,200 mg of calcium a day lowered blood pressure by four points in women (less in men). That’s good news for anyone concerned about their health. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends calcium citrate in divided doses with meals. Calcium citrate may be an even better source of calcium than dairy products, since there is some evidence that the high protein content in dairy foods promotes the urinary excretion of calcium. Stick with calcium citrate or non-dairy calcium-rich foods such as tofu and green leafy vegetables.
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