Calcium and Vitamin D are essential micronutrients for bone and musculoskeletal health.
It is a known fact that calcium is an essential mineral for bone health. The daily requirement of calcium for adults should be more than 700mg. You need to meet your daily calcium requirement for optimal bone health.
If you suffer from osteoporosis, your calcium levels can be increased up to 1200mg per day. You can take extra calcium through diet or calcium supplement. However, it is advised not to exceed the dosage by more than 2000 to 2500 mg per day. Overdose can have detrimental effect on your body.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and its chief function is to control the calcium absorption from the intestines and it helps promote calcium for bone mineralisation. So, lack of vitamin D can lead to impairment in bone mineralisation, causing osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.
The recommended dosage of vitamin D is 400 IU. Nearly 90% of daily requirement is obtained from the sunlight’s action on the skin, while the 10% is supplied by diet. Oily fish, egg yolk and cereals are good sources of vitamin D.
Calcium and Vitamin D supplement for osteoporosis
A supplement containing calcium and vitamin D can be considered one of the treatments for patients with osteoporosis. In addition, people need to eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. A supplement is more useful for postmenopausal women who are the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Patients with low blood calcium and vitamin D levels should consider a supplement, as they are less likely to meet the daily requirements through food alone. It is found that calcium and vitamin D supplements have significantly reduced the risk of fractures caused by osteoporosis.
There are many supplements available, both over-the-counter and prescription, in the market. Generally, patients with osteoporosis must receive at least 1g calcium and 800 IU vitamin D on a daily basis. Patients should be advised the spilt dosage of supplement to ensure optimal calcium absorption.
GPs should consider the dosage, taste, palatability and side effects associated with calcium and vitamin D supplements, especially in elderly patients. These factors will help ensure that the compliance with long-term treatment is good.