If you're on this website – an HGH website – you are probably interested in growing. Growing your muscles, your muscle mass, your erections or even your height. Perhaps you have a child who was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency and they are considered short of stature. In any case, there has been discussion recently regarding the use of calcium supplements to help patients grow taller. Specifically, how does calcium affect our height and bone growth?
What is Calcium?
Calcium is actually the most abundant mineral in the human body. It is critical for bone health and growth and pretty much every living organism needs this mineral to survive. Our beautiful coral reefs? Composed of calcium carbonate. The intricate sea shells found at the beach? Composed of calcium carbonate. The Great Pyramid of Giza? Composed of limestone which is made up of various crystal forms of calcium carbonate. Calcium is one important mineral!
In the human body, 99% of the calcium is a part of the structural elements of our bone and teeth – the most important role of calcium within our bodies. However, calcium is also necessary for communication processes between our brain and other parts of our bodies, including movement of muscles and functions of the cardiovascular system. Lastly, calcium is a co-factor for many important enzymes.
Calcium and Bone Growth
It is crucial for children to get adequate amounts of calcium as they are growing. Scientists consider adequate calcium intake as a “prerequisite for normal linear growth.” If low calcium intake is continued throughout adolescence, it may result in slow growth and substandard bone mass. In one study, it was even noted that boys consuming over the average amount of calcium had faster height growth and when consuming less than the average they developed shorter adult stature. However, the data was less conclusive for girls.
After a child reaches adult height and stops growing, calcium will continue to maintain the structure of the bones and teeth, as well as slow down bone density loss. Unfortunately, the tendency for bones to lose their density is a side effect of aging.
Women are especially at risk for bone density loss or osteoporosis. After menopause, the risk is even higher, especially when compared to men and the younger population. Osteoporosis is when the bone density decreases due to the reabsorption of bone tissue and the body's inability to keep up with the demand of producing new tissue to replace it. The bones will actually look porous and will become weak and brittle. If a person with osteoporosis falls, they are more likely to fracture bone.
Sources of Calcium
Calcium can be found in many different foods and drinks but also supplements as well, if necessary. The main food sources include:
• soy milk
• green, leafy vegetables
• nuts and seeds
• fortified cereals and juice
There are plenty of yummy foods to choose from to get plenty of calcium! If you can get recommended amount of calcium from your (hopefully healthy and nutritious!) diet, this would be much better than having to take supplements.
Bone Broths and Calcium
One interesting diet choice that has become very popular recently are bone broths. A bone broth is a type of highly nutritious soup stock that is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissues. Some people even just drink it on its own instead of using it in a soup! Any type of animal bone can be used, such as chicken, lamb or even wild game. The connective tissue can be obtained from beaks, hooves or gizzards but those a just a few examples.
For basic flavoring, you can just use onion and garlic. However, to make it really tasty and even more nutritious, you can add meat, vegetables, your favorite spices, a bay leaf, carrots, celery, etc. Basically, whatever you like and will mix well with your chosen spices!
It is recommended that both men and women between the ages of 19-50 years old get around 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Once women hit menopause or over 50 years of age, it is recommended that they increase their consumption to 1,200 mg. The Office of Dietary Supplements states that 70% of older females in the United States take calcium supplements.
Many of the various brands of calcium supplements will also contain other nutrients as they work in conjunction with calcium. The main ones are vitamin D and magnesium. Vitamin D supports the production of proteins and also helps our bodies absorb calcium. Magnesium works with calcium to strengthen bones.
Can You Have Too Much Calcium?
Yes, it is possible to consume too much calcium and develop hypercalcemia. This is why it is recommended to try and get adequate amounts of calcium from diet alone. Some minor side effects of too much calcium are constipation and increased gas and bloating. Not fun!
Very high levels of calcium can cause severe problems, especially when excessive levels are found in the bloodstream (hypercalcemia). This may result in kidney issues and stones, calcification of soft tissues and blood vessels and the weakening of bones. Since calcium also plays a role in communications between the brain and other parts of the body, adverse neurological or cardiovascular symptoms may occur. Calcium is necessary for our health well into old age but it is imperative that you do not overdo it!
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