Calcium and Osteoporosis

6 02 2009


99% of Calcium is found in bone, 1% serves an intracellular messengers.

Most of that 99% of calcium in bone is found in bone with Phosphorous. Calcium in cells bind to proteins eliciting direct action of the proteins- like troponin-C in muscle for muscle movement), along with phosphorous, Calcium also helps activate other proteins like enzymes for blood clotting.

Calcium requires two mechanisms for absorption, one of these requires Vitamin D. Other vitamins that improve absorption include Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Phosphorous, Potassium and Magnesium.

Many other compounds or lifestyle factors help increase the excretion of Calcium. Excretion of Calcium is normal, however, if you supplement too much calcium at a time OR if these factors below are involved- the levels of excretion are not healthy because the calcium is not getting absorbed into your bones. You begin to lose bone after age 30, minimal amounts initially. This can lead to osteoporosis, which can be incredibly painful and cause fractures leading to eventual death ( immobilization, severity). These other factors for osteoporosis include:

–  high sodium intake ( even normal intake at 2300mg/day causes you to excrete an additional 40mg of calcium/day)



-amenhoria and/or eating disorders ( because these both cause estrogen levels to drop severely, we want estrogen because it has a positive effect on bone density)

-post-menopausal women ( for same reasons above: estrogen levels drop in menopause, causing a decrease in bone density, decrease in calcium absorption)

– low physical activity ( weight bearing pulls muscles from bone, ultimately strengthening the bone and surrounding muscles).


-low calcium, vitamin D intake


-Steroids such as Prednisone   * I am actually asking my prof. more about this, so I will update what I find *

-decreased sun exposure ( because the absorption of calcium requires vitamin D, if you decrease your sun exposure the chemical in your skin that converts uv rays to vitamin D will not convert)

– Higher intakes of Protein. I found this interesting because we went over two research studies that showed various results when supplementing protein and calcium and vitamin D in postmenopausal women.
In elderly women that were not getting enough calcium to start, the study found that adding in higher doses of protein actually increased secretion of Calcium ( decreasing absorption and thus bone density).

However, if the calcium intake was already sufficient, the added protein actually helped increase bone calcium absorption and decrease its secretion.

Fortunately for us, many natural diets include plenty of other vitamins and compounds that counteract the loss of calcium when consuming high protein diets.

This still makes me want to take calcium supplements BIG TIME! I used to take tums all the time, but now I eat lots of yogurt and calcium containing foods.  If you do supplement calcium, do not consume more than 500 mg at a sitting because your body can only absorb that much at one time. The rest will be literally, ( excreted in your urine) and flushed down the toliet !




14 responses

6 02 2009

Oh wow, thanks for sharing such important information!

6 02 2009

thanks for posting this, really interesting and very important!! as a result of my ed ive got osteopenia so ive been doing everything i can to make sure it doesnt get worse. its so important to highlight the importance of calcium in the diet as alot of women forget the huge role it plays. thanks for that girlie 🙂

7 02 2009

I just love your site…it’s really great! I am also studying nutrition (undergrad) and was really excited to find the blog of another student. Check out mine if you’re interested
Where are you studying?

7 02 2009

VERY interesting! Osteoporosis runs in my family so I try to take my calcium chews every day. Do you (or your professor) rec a certain calcium supplement? Chews vs pills?

7 02 2009

THANK you for posting great information!

7 02 2009

interesting. i shall remember this when i’m buying my vitamins

7 02 2009
Lara (Thinspired)

This is really great. I have been more aware of my calcium/vitamin D intake recently because I don’t think I am getting enough. What do you think about the calcium supplement pills versus the calcium chews? Any advantages? Also, I have a multivitamin that has 200 mg (25% RDA) of calcium and 100% of Vitamin D. Do you think I should still consider a supplement?
Wow, I should start paying you for all the advice you give me!

7 02 2009

when I owned my training studio I had an orthopedic surgeon as a client and she told me the ONE THING she wished she had done was taken 2 tums a day from MY AGE (then. 28) for the calcium….

not sure it works—but I do it 🙂

7 02 2009

Great info! My grandma had osteoporosis and my mom has beginning signs. I’m sure to get tons of calcium in my diet every day. Thanks!!!

7 02 2009

Thanks for all the postive feedback: Lara I love it! Hopefully one day I will get paid because I love doing this!

* For those of you that mentioned beginning signs of osteopoenia or osteoporosis- It is “never too late”. Addind in resistance training AND calcium is always beneficial in moderate doses each. For older women, it is a great idea to add weight bearing exerices to strengthen bone density remaining. For younger, definately try to get in 1500 mg daily of calcium- if you are at risk , make sure you consume this in incrememnts of less than 500 mg.

8 02 2009
Sweet and Fit

aww! thanks a bunch for asking your prof about the damn steroids… they really suck the life outta ya

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