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Calcium for healthy bones

Calcium for healthy bones

We need calcium from our diet to give our bones structure and strength. Calcium in the bones acts a bit like a reservoir where the body is constantly withdrawing and depositing calcium.

 

KEY FACT

Whilst 99% of the calcium found in our bodies is found in our bones, a small amount is absorbed into the blood where it’s essential for the healthy functioning of the heart, muscles, blood and nerves.

 

Calcium in our diet is an important factor in healthy ageing.

  • If your body withdraws more calcium than it deposits, bone density (bone strength) gradually declines and there´s a risk of developing osteoporosis.

 

KEY FACT

Less than half of all Australian adults get their daily recommended intake of calcium.

 

What can affect our calcium absorption?

We don’t absorb all the calcium that we consume from food and drink. However certain factors can lead to very low absorption levels and should be discussed with your doctor, for example:

  • Low vitamin D levels
  • Excessive caffeine and alcohol
  • Diets high in phytates (eg: some cereals and brans) or oxalates (eg: spinach, rhubarb)
  • Certain medical conditions and medicines 

 

Tips for increasing calcium intake

Calcium content in food varies significantly, so it´s important to aim to eat 'calcium rich' foods.

  • Include calcium from dairy - milk, yoghurt or cheese.
  • Try canned salmon or sardines which contain soft bones.
  • Add yoghurt to soups or salads.
  • Choose soy products and tofu containing added calcium.
  • Include broccoli, mustard cabbage, Bok Choy, silverbeet, celery and chick peas in your regular diet.
  • Include more almonds in your diet.
  • Look for products including breakfast cereals that are fortified with calcium.

 

KEY FACT

Three serves of dairy can help you achieve your calcium requirements, for example, 250ml milk + 200g tub yoghurt + 40g slice cheese.  

 

References

  1. http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/calcium
  2. Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes. Available at https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-usual-nutrient-intakes/latest-release. Accessed November 2021.
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SUSTAGEN Hospital Formula is a formulated meal replacement and cannot be used as a total diet replacement. Consume as part of a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. SUSTAGEN OPTIMUM™ is a Food for Special Medical Purpose, specially formulated for medical conditions where nutritional needs cannot be met through diet modification alone. Must be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional. SUSTAGEN and SUSTAGEN Ready to Drink are Formulated Supplementary Foods which can be of assistance where dietary intakes of nutrients and energy may not be adequate. SUSTAGEN Sport is a Formulated Supplementary Sports Food which must be consumed in conjunction with a nutritious diet, not as a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise program. Not suitable for children under 15 years of age or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision.The advice given here is intended as a general guideline only and is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Nutritional supplements can only be of assistance where dietary intake is inadequate. Please seek advice on your individual needs from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian or your healthcare professional.