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The best way to prevent calcium deficiency

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PT Health Life – Calcium is very important for the body, it is the main component that makes up bones and teeth, accounting for about 99%. Therefore, calcium deficiency can lead to many serious consequences in both adults and children.

1. Causes of calcium deficiency

Calcium deficiency has many causes, the older you are, the higher the risk of calcium deficiency. This deficiency may be due to:

+ Insufficient calcium supplementation over a long period of time, especially in childhood.

+ Use medications that reduce calcium absorption.

+ Intolerance to a diet containing calcium-rich foods.

+ Hormonal changes, especially in women.

+ Genetic factors.

In fact, the most common cause of calcium deficiency is a diet lacking vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium, which will reduce calcium absorption, calcium deficiency due to hypoparathyroidism, infection…

According to a report by the National Institute of Nutrition, in recent years Vietnamese people’s daily menu has changed many times, including increasing the amount of meat and fat. In urban areas the average meat consumption is 154 grams per person per day, while the recommendation is 70 grams. Since then, Vietnamese people receive more lipids from animal sources than lipids from plant sources.

The diet tends to increase protein along with increased phosphorus but not calcium, mainly increasing animal protein. Therefore, the calcium diet of Vietnamese people only meets 50% of the recommended calcium needs.

The small amount of calcium is eliminated a lot due to the habit of eating too much protein and eating too salty. Vietnamese people eat 3 times more salt than recommended, with more than 15mg of salt per day.

Calcium deficiency can lead to many serious consequences in both adults and children.

2. Signs of calcium deficiency

2.1 Calcium deficiency often has the following symptoms:

– Frequent cramps.

– Muscle pain, especially in the thighs, arms… when moving, walking, or sleeping.

– Tooth decay , delayed teething (in children).

2.2 The best measure to prevent calcium deficiency

Supplement calcium through the foods we eat every day or take calcium supplements. However, the safest and most effective way is to supplement calcium through diet, do not arbitrarily take calcium supplements.

Recommended food groups:

Add 3 units of milk to your daily meals (choose milks with high calcium content).

Eat a variety of foods, choose food groups containing lots of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc…

+ Choose animal proteins such as shrimp, crab, sea fish, snails, eggs, milk and milk products.

+ Vegetable protein: Sesame, soybeans, wood ear mushrooms, beans, especially soybeans and nuts such as walnuts, almonds…

Vegetables, spinach, broccoli, okra, white beans, cereals, almonds…

Oral calcium supplements should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor. Exercise diligently every day to improve your health. Especially spending at least 10 to 20 minutes sunbathing in the morning (9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. every day) will help the body absorb a lot of vitamin D, which is an indispensable substance in absorbing and converting calcium into the body. body.

Foods that should not be used:

Eating a lot of protein will affect calcium excretion through the urinary tract, increasing the risk of kidney stones.

Do not use calcium-rich foods with iron-rich foods (because iron reduces calcium absorption in the body and vice versa), red meats, dark green vegetables…

Foods contain a lot of oxalic acid, phytic acid, fatty acids because calcium ions, when combined with positive ions in foods containing a lot of phytic acid, oxalic acid and fatty acids… will form insoluble calcium salts. Calcium salts will be excreted in feces and urine.

Green tea: Tannin in green tea inhibits the body’s absorption of calcium.

Stimulant drinks such as wine, beer, coffee…

You should not starve because it reduces phosphate in the body, causing low calcium.

Only take calcium supplements in cases of high calcium deficiency. The following cases often lack calcium-rich substances and may require calcium supplementation with medication as prescribed by the doctor:

– Vegetarians, especially vegetarians.

– People with lactose intolerance and rarely drink milk.

– People with a diet high in meat or salt, causing the body to excrete a lot of calcium, will suffer from osteoporosis.

– People with the disease must use corticosteroids for a long time.

– People with gastrointestinal diseases that do not absorb calcium such as enteritis or Celiac disease.

3. What to do when you have calcium deficiency?

To provide enough calcium for the body, from the moment of birth, children need to be fully breastfed. When children start to eat solid foods (from 5 to 6 months), in addition to breastfeeding, it is necessary to pay attention to preparing calcium-rich foods in the child’s menu. When reaching puberty and adulthood, calcium-rich foods still need to be prioritized in the daily diet.

Follow a diverse diet of foods, using foods rich in calcium such as shrimp, crab, fish, fish with bones, snails, sesame, soybeans, wood ear mushrooms, spinach, eggs, especially yolks eggs, milk and dairy products…

The diet should provide enough protein. If the diet contains too much protein compared to recommended needs, the body will be at increased risk of calcium deficiency. Diets with too much protein will increase calcium excretion through the urinary tract and increase the risk of kidney stones. Limit your intake of coffee, alcohol and salt, as these substances often inhibit calcium absorption.

Use foods with calcium supplements in case of high calcium deficiency as prescribed by your doctor.

Vitamin D helps regulate calcium levels in blood and bones, helping the body absorb calcium better. Therefore, in addition to supplementing calcium-rich foods, we need to pay attention to choosing foods rich in vitamin D such as seafood, eggs, milk… during meals to provide vitamin D for the body.

Besides, you should spend at least 10 – 20 minutes sunbathing in the morning (9am – 9:30am every day) to help the body absorb more vitamin D through the skin. It is important to note that there is enough fat in the diet so that vitamin D is better absorbed through the digestive tract .

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