You probably know that as you get into the menopausal years you have to start thinking about your bones. When your estrogen is on the wane you gradually lose its protective effect of maintaining your bone strength and density. So it won't come as a surprise to you that most women over 50 are advised to take a calcium supplement along with vitamin D, which helps you absorb the calcium.
But what may surprise you is that calcium and vitamin D are also important in preventing other midlife health problems that make their appearance as you age. Your risk goes up for a number of chronic or life threatening conditions, and getting enough vitamin D and calcium will lower these risks. Research has shown that adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium can help reduce the risks of:
Since all of these conditions can damage your health and affect your quality of life, it's good to know that you can give them the one-two punch when you get enough calcium and vitamin D.
How much Vitamin D do you need?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 200 IU a day up to the age of 50, 400 IU from 51 to 70, and 600 IU over age 70. About 100 IU are found in an 8 ounce glass of fortified milk.
And how much calcium should you get?
The National Institutes of Health recommend 1000 mg of calcium per day up to the age of 51, and 1200 mg a day after that age. Women often have to take a supplement to get that much calcium in a day, so taking a supplement of calcium plus vitamin D makes a lot of sense.
With so many benefits to offer, these two supplements earn their keep in your "Healthy Menopause" toolkit.