It seems easy to get calcium. It’s abundant in many of the foods we eat and drink and supplements line grocery shelves making having an excuse to be lacking this vital mineral laughable. However, calcium is nothing without vitamin D, and unfortunately vitamin D is a bit harder to come by. You won’t find it in a lot of foods, but you will find it on your front porch on a sunny day. However, the critical link between vitamin D and calcium absorption cannot be over emphasized. You genuinely cannot have one without the other, and the function of vitamin D is much more critical than you may realize.
The body doesn’t know how to handle calcium absorption without having a few friends along for the ride. Magnesium and vitamin D and calcium absorption go hand in hand. Calcium needs to be offset by magnesium in a 1 to 1 ratio as higher amounts of calcium without magnesium would start depleting the body’s supply of magnesium. Vitamin D helps the body form the hormone calcitriol, and calcium absorption is hindered by a lack of it.
If the body doesn’t get enough calcium, or enough of what it needs to process it, it begins to rob the bones in order to provide what it needs for essential body functions. Here is where the link between vitamin D and calcium absorption becomes critical. Our bones are storage facilities for calcium, and when the body thinks we don’t have enough, it turns to reserves. This can lead to health problems, including osteoporosis, down the line.
A lack of vitamin D can also cause calcium supplement side effects. Suppose you are doing a great job of taking calcium without the vital goodies it needs to absorb it, you can be left with an increased chance of breast cancer, and potential heart health issues, as argued by Dr. Mercola and evidenced by several health studies that our government seems to not give enough importance to at this time. Build ups of calcium can manifest themselves in the form of kidney stones and can cause ovarian cysts. Because of these reasons it’s important to understand the link between vitamin D and calcium absorption, one simply needs the other to work.
Remember to discuss any supplements you are taking with your health care provider. He or she can discuss your intake amounts and discuss dietary modifications to help you meet your needs.