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As women age, especially after menopause,calcium requirements increase

due to both reduced intestinal calcium absorption and lessefficient kidney
conservation of calcium.
There is a great deal of confusion and controversy about which form of
calcium is best.?
When the calcium is taken on an empty stomach, calcium citrate is absorbed
better than
Calcium carbonate. In addition, it may be that as women age and have lower
stomach acid production,
lower fat absorption, and take in less vitamin D due to less exposure to
sunshine and
Decreased fat absorption, calcium citrate may be a better choice to combat
these compromising effects
on calcium absorption.
Calcium carbonate is absorbed well when taken with food. Calcium citrate
can be taken with food or on an emptystomach.
Another issue that makes it difficult to determine the optimal dose of calcium
is that higher
doses of calcium may interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. In two
separate studies,
researchers have shown that a high dietary calcium intake adversely affects
zinc absorption and
balance in humans.72, 73 This may be especially important in elderly women
due to their compromised zinc absorption, their possible marginal zinc status
to begin with, and their high risk of osteoporosis. A zinc deficiency can result
in skin changes, growth retardation, loss of appetite, changes in vision,
decreased insulin function, dysfunction in prostaglandin synthesis, and
immunologic abnormalities. Zinc is also essentialfor normal bone formation;
it enhances the biochemical actions of vitamin D, is required for the
formation of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and is required for the synthesis of
various proteins found in bone tissue. Zinc levels have been found to be low
in the serum and bone of elderly people with osteoporosis,74 and also in
people with bone loss at the alveolar ridge of the mandible.75 This negative
interaction between calcium and zinc absorption raises concerns about how
higher calcium intakes may affect the absorption of other minerals needed
for bone health.
Another area of great disagreement is what ratio of calcium to magnesium is
The most scientific research support exists for two parts calcium to one part

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the only vitamin thats also a hormone, and it is the only vitamin
we dont have to consume from our diet. Vitamin D is normally produced in the skin
through ultraviolet exposure of a derivative of cholesterol(7-dehydrochlesterol) to
produce previtamin D,which is then metabolized to 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the liver
and then to 1-alpha dihydroxyvitamin D3 in the kidney, at which time it becomes
functional. This hormone is now able to carry out its function, including calcium
absorption,phosphate absorption in the intestine, calcium mobilization in the bone,
and calcium reabsorption in the kidneys. Vitamin D also maintains normal
parathyroid status, is an important regulator of the immune system, and is
important formuscular strength.