The other day I had a doctor’s appointment to establish the new doctor/new patient relationship.
As we discussed my health history my doctor (who I think is great) asked me what supplements I take. I told her I take melatonin to help with sleep. I also take Tums for the calcium.
(I started taking calcium recently hoping it will help with my thin, peeling, splitting nails, which I am still trying to resurrect. I wrote about the nail experiment more than a year ago and I am still trying to get these nails healthy.)
I asked my doctor if she recommended a different calcium supplement source. She recommended calcium with vitamin D.
Being a woman I know calcium is important. I eat my cheese and have my Greek yogurt. (I don’t really like milk unless it is in my cereal or I’m having a PB&J.) But I am sure my calcium intake is not what it should be with diet alone.
Calcium is a mineral that is an essential part of bones and teeth. The heart, nerves, and blood-clotting systems also need calcium to work, according to WebMD. … The bones and teeth contain over 99% of the calcium in the human body. Calcium is also found in the blood, muscles, and other tissue. Calcium in the bones can be used as a reserve that can be released into the body as needed.
My doctor recommended calcium with vitamin D because living in Portland we need the extra vitamin help.
According to several bottles of calcium I looked at at the drugstore, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. I confirmed this with the vitamin D council website, which says, vitamin D is very important for strong bones. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for developing the structure and strength of your bones, and you need vitamin D to absorb these minerals.
The council also states that getting the right amount of vitamin D doesn’t depend on the foods you eat. To get enough vitamin D you need to expose your skin to sunlight regularly and you may also need to take supplements. … Your body can make its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight. But your body can’t make other vitamins.
According to Medical News Today, it is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes two to three times per week allows the body the ability to produce sufficient vitamin D. Despite this, recent studies have suggested that up to 50% of adults and children worldwide are vitamin D deficient.
In spite of the name, vitamin D is not actually considered a vitamin. Because the body can produce its own vitamin D, it is not necessarily an essential part of the diet and is considered a pro-hormone, also according to Medical News Today.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation reiterates what is stated above by the vitamin D council and Medical News Today and also states that vitamin D plays an important role in protecting your bones and your body requires it to absorb calcium. Children need vitamin D to build strong bones, and adults need it to keep their bones strong and healthy. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may lose bone, have lower bone density, and you’re more likely to break bones as you age.
As a yoga teacher I remind my students how important it is to maintain a strong core, grounded feet and thighs and good balance because as we age (and we are all aging) we struggle with maintaing our balance and we start falling more and possibly breaking bones. And no one wants to break a hip, shoulder or anything else.
Exercise, weight-bearing exercise (which can be yoga), maintaining balance, healthy and fulfilling diet and supplements are important for our bones and healthy living.