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Vitamins:  Calcium for Healthy Bones

Calcium supplements are designed to help maintain healthy bones and to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

The human body contains nearly three pounds of total calcium, about 99 percent of which is in the bones. Throughout life, bones are in a constant state of reformation as calcium is continually removed from and re-deposited in the bones.

Adequate levels of calcium are needed every day to ensure that bone mineral density is maintained. If people do not get enough calcium from their diets, the body will take it from bone structure, which results in a net loss of bone calcium.

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Calcium and Healthy Aging
Affecting millions of people each year, osteoporosis occurs when the rate of absorption of old bone exceeds the deposition of new bone. The resulting thinning of the bones makes them porous and prone to fracture. Deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, boron, and vitamin D can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Other factors, such as sex, race, hormonal status, family history, level of exercise, and general diet also affect the risk of osteoporosis.

Reducing Risk of Osteoporosis
Although signs of osteoporosis usually donít occur until the later years of life, getting the proper amount of calcium in our diet when weíre young helps build strong bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis in the future. Regular exercise and a healthy diet with enough calcium have been proven to help teens and young adult white and Asian women maintain good bone health and may reduce their high risk of osteoporosis later in life. It is estimated that adolescents who make even a 5 percent gain in bone mass in their teens can reduce the risk of osteoporosis by 40 percent.1 Thus, supplementation with a comprehensive bone-building calcium formula can play an important role in a personís quality of life.2*

In addition to maintaining healthy bones, calcium is critical to normal nerve conduction, muscle contraction, blood clotting (provided it is normal to begin with), cell division, and electrical conduction in the heart.3 It is also essential for producing and activating enzymes and hormones that regulate digestion, energy, and fat metabolism.3*

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1. Bachrach LK. Trends Endocrinol Metab 2001;12(1):22-8.
2. Reid IR. Am J Med Sci 1996;312:278-86.
3. Bowman A, Russell R eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. Washington DC:ILSI; Press 2001.

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