Calcium As You Age

July 14, 2011

Aging populations often eat less than their younger more active counterparts leading to a lower intake of vitamins.

2011 marks the year when the 76 million baby boomers begin to turn sixty five, SupermarketGuru wants to focus on the impact on one important nutrient: calcium.

New approaches to increasing the frequency of calcium supplementation may be necessary to reduce osteoporosis risk among older Americans, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut and published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The study looked at data from more than 9,000 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that although supplemental calcium use and calcium density were highest in older age groups, they were still not sufficient in meeting recommended levels.

Upon further examination, median dietary calcium intake in men decreased by 22.7 percent as age increased; in women, it decreased by 14.1 percent. But as people aged they were more likely to take calcium supplements.

Preventing bone loss, especially in older adults, is extremely important, considering that fractures are the 12th leading cause of disability in the US. The Institute of Medicine has defined the Adequate Intake of calcium as 1,000 mg/day for people aged 19 to 50, and 1,200 mg/day for women older than 51 and men over 70.

What are the top calcium rich foods? Low fat yogurt, sardines, goats and cows milk, sesame seeds, spinach, collard greens, mozzarella cheese, and turnip greens. Spice up your meals with basil, dill seed, thyme, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves which are also very good sources of calcium. Other sources of calcium include romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage, summer squash, tofu, brussel sprouts, asparagus and crimini mushrooms.

Including a variety of vegetables as well as dairy is a great way to keep calcium consumption up, so head to your local supermarket to stock up on this bone building nutrient.