Calcium Status Linked to Metabolic & Cardio Health

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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We commonly think of calcium as the primary nutrient involved with the structure of bones – which it is. However, calcium is used by your body for many other purposes, including metabolic and cardiovascular fitness. A new study of women aged 18–50 years shows that calcium intake is directly associated with body weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar metabolism.

The researchers broke the women into two groups, those with less than 600 mg of calcium intake per day and those with greater than 600 mg per day.

The low calcium group had higher BMI, larger waistlines, a higher percentage of body fat, and greater leptin resistance. This confirms the findings of a variety of earlier studies linking low calcium intake and obesity.

The low calcium group also demonstrated higher levels of insulin resistance leading to blood sugar problems. Indeed, the key hormone called adiponectin was lowered by poor calcium intake. Adiponectin prevents insulin resistance in the liver and acts as a major anti-inflammatory in the general circulation to prevent heart disease.

Those with low calcium also had higher blood pressure.

While it is certainly important to get adequate high-quality calcium for bone health, it is also important to know that what is good for the bones is also good for your metabolism and general cardiovascular health. Calcium and vitamin D are basic nutrition for good health at all ages.

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