You’ve most likely heard at one time or another that calcium is a key component for women striving to maintain optimal health. But why? What is its importance? Are all calcium supplements the same? How does blood type impact calcium requirements? Here, we’ve answered a few of your most pressing questions about calcium and women’s health.
Why is calcium important for women?
Women generally have thinner bones than men, making them more prone to osteoporosis, a condition in which new bone tissue isn’t regenerated well enough to keep up with the loss. Osteoporosis leaves bones weak, brittle and susceptible to stress fractures or breaks. In addition, as women age, they experience a drop in estrogen—a hormone that helps to maintain bone strength.
Does my blood type affect my chances of developing osteoporosis?
Types A and AB have a higher incidence of osteoporosis, likely because they are known to have lower levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase—an enzyme that enhances the absorption of calcium—and naturally lower stomach acid levels, which also negatively impact calcium absorption.
Types O and B have higher levels of both intestinal alkaline phosphatase and stomach acid, enabling them to better absorb calcium.
How much calcium do I need?
The recommended level of calcium for adults age 19 through 50 years is 1000 milligrams per day. An intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium per day is recommended for those age 51 years and older.
Is the type of calcium in my supplements important?
Yes. In the early years of supplementation, all calcium was pretty much the same: a ground-up inorganic substance (typically oyster shell) packed into hard tablets that early nutritionists hoped the body could absorb. The problem was, the body absorbed very little of this substance; much of it passed through the body untouched and unused. Thus, the search for the perfect calcium began.
Focused on creating personalized supplements that would provide high-quality calcium right for all blood types, Dr. Peter D’Adamo discovered maerl, a small red seaweed found only in isolated areas off the coast of southwest Ireland. Of all sources of calcium, maerl has one of the lowest levels of undesirable contaminants—and one of the highest levels of absorption—which is why we use it in our Phytocal products.
Is Phytocal right for my type?
Yes. Maerl-based sea calcium is composed of a wide variety of essential nutrients including calcium, magnesium, boron and zinc, and is the only natural source of calcium with a broad enough buffering range to ensure an excellent rate of bioavailability and utilization in all blood types. Using maerl calcium as a base, Dr. D’Adamo has designed four different Phytocal mineral formulas using unique cofactors and micro-mineral ratios specific to each blood type.
Should I take calcium supplements with food?
Yes, Dr. D’Adamo suggests taking calcium with meals, as there is evidence that taking calcium supplements on an empty stomach may increase the risk of kidney stones.
Should I take my calcium all at once, or in doses throughout the day?
Dr. D’Adamo recommends taking no more than 500 milligrams of calcium at once because your body is only able to absorb so much calcium at one time. So, for instance, if you need 1,000 milligrams, split your dose into 500 milligrams twice a day.