The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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If you grew up in America, you doubtless remember the mandatory glass of milk a day. Whether served alongside breakfast or drunk with cookies before bedtime, the drink is rightly touted as a prime source of calcium. However, your need for calcium extends far past childhood, as this vital nutrient plays many roles in the body equally important in adulthood.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight


Whether it’s eggs or cabbage, there are countless fad diets built around the alleged miracle properties of a single food. However, shedding extra pounds may be as simple as adding some dairy products and calcium supplements to your already balanced diet, at least for young women.
Researchers at both the University of Tennessee and Purdue University found that subjects who ingested 1,300 to 1,400 milligrams of calcium each day had measurably lower body fat after 18 months of observation. The study discovered that calcium plays an important role in how fat is broken down. Fat cells that contain calcium are burned more effectively, meaning people with a healthy amount of calcium in their diets are less likely to be overweight.

Diabetes Prevention


While Type-2 diabetes is a serious condition, it’s largely preventable. In fact, up to 90 percent of Type-2 diabetes cases can be avoid via lifestyle changes. As it turns out, one provable method of guarding the body against this condition is through the consumption of calcium. When combined with zinc, vitamin D, and magnesium, patients who consume 1200 mg of calcium a day have a reduced risk of developing diabetes. It isn’t a small reduction either; taking calcium for diabetes reduces the risk in pre-diabetic patients up to 28 percent. Since it’s a versatile food, cheese is an excellent way for you to dress up other foods that help protect against diabetes, such as leafy greens and lean proteins.

Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment


Like diabetes, osteoporosis patients dramatically benefit from lifestyle changes. Because of their weakened, mineral-deficient bones, patients prone to osteoporosis typically require supplementation. Your bones contain 99 percent of the body’s calcium, so it’s logical that it is one of the key nutrients needed to protect the body against osteoporosis. If enough is not ingested via diet and supplements, the body will use the stores of calcium found in bones, leaving them weak and prone to fracture.
When taking regularly, calcium can help restore and maintain density in the bones, thus playing the primary role in the prevention of osteoporosis. For the best results, pair your calcium supplement with healthy vitamin D intake to allow for maximum absorption. This is especially important as you grow older, since age increases the likelihood of osteoporosis developing.

Colon Cancer Prevention


Calcium is vital in preventing overall risk for the development of colon cancer, a fact which holds true whether the calcium is ingested via food or supplements.
When taken regularly, calcium can suppress cancer-causing polyps from growing and developing within the colon. Likewise, calcium lowers the risk of nonmalignant tumors, precursors to cancer, from developing.
Even excess or undigested calcium can further help guard the body. As calcium not absorbed into the blood stream passes through the intestines, it binds itself to cancer promoters which are then excreted form the body. This is an added benefit of calcium supplementation which may place its levels in the body above what would normally be ingested through diet alone.

Kidney Stone Prevention


Because kidney stones are in part formed of calcium, health experts once thought that calcium consumption could contribute to their development. As it turns out, calcium actually plays a key role in protecting the body from kidney stones. Patients with a diet low in calcium are actually more likely to develop kidney stones, which are more commonly caused by excess salts, overindulging in oxalate-rich meals, and poor hydration. If you’re concerned about kidney stones, calcium-rich foods aren’t the culprit, and actually are an important part of a balanced diet.

Heart Health


As with kidney stones, researchers once thought calcium was a leading cause of heart problems. However, recent studies have revealed that not only is calcium not a major danger to the heart, but is actually necessary for proper cardio function. Your heart muscles rely on calcium in order to relax and contract properly, a key factor in preventing heart attacks. Likewise, when paired with dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium, calcium can help patients with high blood pressure lower it back to a healthy level.

A Healthy Tradition


Whether derived from diet or supplements, calcium ...    Continue



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