What do PMS, colon cancer, high blood pressure and osteoporosis have in common?
A secret enemy: calcium. Women have heard for years that adequate calcium
intake--from food or supplements--protects bones and delays osteoporosis. Recent
research shows that calcium's value extends to many other functions as well.
However, women should know that while adequate calcium is a critically important
dietary component, especially for younger women, calcium alone is no better
than placebo when it comes to preventing or treating osteoporosis in menopausal
Calcium's biggest treatment value may be with PMS. One study showed that women
who took 1,200 mg of calcium per day had far fewer PMS symptoms than those who
didn't. In other studies, teenagers with high blood pressure saw big reductions
after taking 1500 mg of calcium per day, or 5 glasses of skim milk. Two other
studies have shown that improved calcium intake can reduce the growth of precancerous
The more we learn about calcium, the more benefits we discover. Calcium can
aid digestion, improve wound healing and blood clotting, and reduce muscle cramps.
Yet the majority of adult American women and teenage girls are getting an inadequate
daily intake of this important mineral.
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Created: 7/27/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.
Reviewed: 6/30/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.