Has Calcium Become the New Iron?
Long ago when the daily diet was often lacking in some vital nutrients, food suppliers began fortifying the food chain with added vitamins and minerals. This tactic was instrumental in alleviating widespread conditions such as rickets caused by a Vitamin D deficiency.
Iron is another extremely common additive in our food supply and in adequate amounts helps prevent anemia. However, too much iron in the diet has been associated with heart disease. Yet it continues to be added to a frightening percentage of our food.
Almost all daily vitamin supplements contain iron and many contain 100% or more of the recommended daily requirement. Therefore, when combined with the iron-fortified foods consumed in the daily diet one can easily see how an excess intake of iron occurs.
And now over the Diet Horizon, many of our products are being infused with a new additive: Calcium.
Calcium supplements are cropping up in orange juice, breads and some beverages. Calcium is also contained in many weight loss products and may help excel water retention. And it's also contained in most vitamin supplements. People are also being advised in the media to consume antacid supplements to support daily calcium needs.
Calcium provides healthy teeth and bones, improves nerve network, and is an immunity booster. It may also help expedite weight loss - one reason why milk has become a popular food source among dieters.
But, do we really more than 100% of the daily recommended allowance of calcium as is being pushed upon us by food and vitamin manufacturers or is this just marketing hype?
Although adequate calcium intake is vital, too much calcium has been associated with an increased risk of kidney stones, nausea & vomiting, loss of appetite (no wonder it's in so many weight loss aids!), confusion, seizures, abdominal pain and coma.
So the next time that you reach for that calcium-fortified orange juice you may want to ask yourself, "Do I really need this extra blast of calcium OR would I be better off health-wise with a serving of good old unadulterated (probably better tasting) orange juice?"