Pharmacology

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pharmacology

 

 

 

Name

University Details

Submission Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 1: Reliability ofPubMed Database

PubMed database uses sources from the U.S National database (Medline) for referencing. The U.S National Library contains over 19 million medicine sources of information. These sources include journal articles that are peer reviewed. Besides journal articles, the database contains information from newspapers, magazines and news articles. Therefore, students, scholars and other researchers in the field of nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary science and public health easily access validated and up to date information from PubMed database. Additionally, this database is particularly helpful to users who are not familiar with searching online data given that it is easy to use. The database also allows a user to fine-tune his or her search so as to access information quickly.

Most importantly, PubMed database contains data that an advisory committee reviews. Furthermore, the National Institute of Health is responsible for the operation of the literature review committee given that it monitors its activities. Therefore, it is evident that PubMed database contains information that is credible giventhat it is peer reviewed and accredited. Besides sourcing its information from the National Institute of Health, the database contains literature from government agencies and non-governmental websites.

 Performance enhancing drugs

Performance enhancing drugs are medications that individuals consume with the main purpose of improving their physical performance. Individuals in sports, such as athletes, mainly consume the drugs with the expectations of boosting their energy levels. Individuals also refer to these drugs as doping agents. Performance enhancing drugs are classified according to the specific functions that they perform. For instance, they include human growth hormones, anabolic steroids, diuretics, androstenedione, erythropoietin, creatine, and stimulants.

Mostly, athletes take doses of anabolic-androgen or anabolic steroids so as to build up muscle strength and mass. Notably, these drugs contain a certain level of testosterone hormonesthat alters the normal functioning of the body. For example, steroids with anabolic effects contain mineral elements that aid in the growth of body muscles. Thus, athletes take these drugs to increase the rate at which their body muscles grow and also to maintain their body mass. Athletes may also take steroids with androgenic effects so as to enhance their male traits such as deepening of thevoice. Furthermore, individuals with a habit of indulging in vigorous activities take performance enhancing drugs not only to build muscles but also toaid in the quick healing of torn muscles.

The effectiveness of anabolic steroids

Health practitioners use anabolic steroids for medical purposes but in no way do they prescribe it as a medication that can boost athletes’ performance. Although the drugs have severe consequences on the users, athletes still use it to improve their performance. The drug boosts their energy as well as fasten the growth of body muscles, especially on the thighs, arms, legs, and chest sections. Additionally, intensive physical activities may at times lead to the wearing of muscles thus causing a decrease inbody mass. Individuals in sports consume performance enhancing drugs so as to help the body recover quickly from intensive physical activities. Thus, it is correct to state that anabolic steroids enhance athletic performance only for ashort while but they do not have a long-lasting effect.

Side effects of anabolic steroids

The habitual use of anabolic steroids may severely affect the health of an individual. Kidney failure is one of the health consequences of using steroids. Intake of the drugs results in the overworking of the kidneys which in turn lead to their inflammation. The kidneys overwork because body muscles increase at an abnormally high rate than the normal rate. Hence, they have to increase their rate of filtration which causesthe organ to strain. Additionally, health research institutes prohibit the use of anabolic steroids for performance enhancement reasons because they contain toxic elements that can harm the kidneys. Thus, both male and female athletes put their health at risk when they consume performance enhancing drugs.

Athletes face the challenge of stopping the usage of anabolic steroids because they contain addictive elements just like alcohol and tobacco. Also, steroid dependenceoccurs as a result of an athlete wanting to perform well. Thus, they heavily rely on the drugs to improve their performance. The individuals who decide to stop using the drugs may experience depression episodes. Hence, they may show aggression, withdraw from friends and family, become violent and even entertain suicidal thoughts. Both men and women who experience withdrawal symptoms may continue to have a diverse range of symptoms for several months. Also, men using steroids may experience difficultiesregarding sexual performance when they are not using the drugs.

Individuals who take anabolic steroids also experience hormonal imbalance. Steroids interrupt normal secretion of hormones thus affecting theproper functioning of the body. Hormonal changes can have irreversible or reversible effects to men or women. For example, men start producing lesser sperms than what they would produce when their bodies were normal. Additionally, some men experience the shrinking of testicles. These changes may affect the fertility of a man. An impotent man may develop complex psychological problems associated with depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues. Hormone imbalance can result in breast development which may affect the self-image of a man. Women, on the other hand, may develop male features such as growing too much hair on their legs and chest regions. They may also develop excessive muscles which may make them appear masculine.Androgenic drugs may cause male users to develop baldness as a result of hormonal imbalances. This change is irreversible.

Performance enhancing drugs affect the cardiovascular system. Excessive use of anabolic steroids increases the risk of myocardial infarction. Incidences of thrombus formation among patients with a habit of using steroids are common in health care systems. These patients also test positive for increased blood pressure. Patients who stop using the drugs resume normal health while those who insist on taking the drugs even after showing signs of cardiovascular problems increase their risks of getting heart-related diseases. Notably, individuals who use anabolic steroids rapidly experience thrombosis which heightens the chances of getting a heart attack that may result in sudden death. An athlete using steroids may also suffer from an increased stiffness of the left ventricular wall. The reason being that the blood vessels in this region increase in thickness due to the high levels of blood pressure.

Lastly, anabolic steroids harm soft body tissues and cause premature closure of the growth plate. Athletes who indulge in vigorous physical training while at the same time take performance enhancing drugs cause the tearing of connective tissues such as tendons. Although the drugs help in the formation of muscles, the rate at which these muscles grow and the intensity of a workout create an imbalance in the body function as connective tissues experience strain. Additionally, anabolic drugs affect the development of epiphyseal plates that are responsible for human growth. The usage of these drugs, especially among teenage athletes, results in the excessive release of estrogen which causes growth plate to close prematurely. Therefore, the users of these drugs may fail to grow accordingly.

Question 2: Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada

IBD is a chronic condition that mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract. The characteristics of patients with Crohn’s disease differ from those with ulcerative colitis depending the location of the inflammation.

Crohn’s Disease

This disease is a chronic inflammatory health condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract.It affects any part of the gastrointestinal wall such as the mouth, ileum, perineum or the anus. At an advanced level, the Crohn’s disease can affect the skin, eyes or the joints. Patients with this condition normally experience symptoms such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fatigue, significant weight loss, and fecal incontinence. Crohn’s disease can cause morbidity at an advanced level especially if it goes unrecognized. Young people living in Western countries are at high risk of getting the disease. Particularly, the condition is prevalent among people who are schooling, working or are having a family. Research does not indicate clearly the causes of Crohn’s disease, but genetics and the environment play a role in the advancement of the disease. For instance, a person is likely to get the disease if he or she is closely related to a person with the disease. Environmental factors such as smoking and a poor diet heighten the risk of an individual suffering from the disease. Given that the disease is chronic, people suffering from it have to manage it through medication and living a healthy lifestyle.

Ulcerative Colitis

It is a chronic infection that involves the diffusion of mucosal inflammation in the colon region. The rectum is the most affected part of the gastrointestinal tract,but with time, the inflammation can spread in a circular manner to the rest of the large intestine. Patients with the condition usually complain of abdominal pains, suffer from diarrhea and hematochezia. In severe cases, patients experiencing diarrheas may spot blood stains in their stool. Cases of frequent bowel movement and weight loss are also common among such patients. Additionally, the advancement of ulcerative colitis may result in arthritic complications. Patients that develop this complication prior or after the disease feel pain in weight-bearingjoints such as ankles or knees. Ulcerative colitis is prevalent in Europe, the United States, and other developed countries. It is, however, less prevalent among the underdeveloped states. Females tend to be the most affected group as opposed to males. Notably, it is common among young adults. Environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, oral contraceptives, and poor diet cause the condition. Thus, patients are usually put on medication to manage the condition given that it is chronic.

Collagenous colitis

It is also a type of IBD that involves colon inflammation. The damaging and thickening of connective tissuescomprising of bones, tendons and skin cause collagenous colitis. The affected area is similar to that of ulcerative colitis, but it slightly differs given that the last portion of the bowels next to the anus is affected. The main symptom of the disease is watery diarrhea. Notably, patients with this symptom do not release blood-stained stool. Collagenous colitis is incurable just like the other IBDsbut patients who strictly observe their diet and take medications according to the doctor’s prescription always manage to contain the disease.

Lymphocytic colitis

Research indicates a close similarity between collagenous and lymphocytic colitis given that they affect the same region of the body, the colon, and show similar symptoms. It is yet to be proven if it is true that the two conditions are the same only that they occur in different stages of inflammation. The build-up of the immune system cells, lymphocytes, causeLymphocytic colitis. Similar to collagenous colitis, patients with lymphocytic colitis experience chronic watery diarrhea that does not contain pus or blood stains. Also, patients suffering from the condition may be unable to contain bowel movements and may experience bloating or stomach discomfort. Fatigue is a common symptom of the disease given that patients lose much water from frequent diarrhea.  The disease is, however, non-contagious.

The role of Vitamin D in IBD

The intake of Vitamin D helps in the prevention of collagenous colitis because it strengthens bones. Additionally, patients with ulcerative colitis tend to have low vitamin D thus the nutrient helps to reduce inflammation. Furthermore, apatient who takes adequate levels of Vitamin D regulates their body immunity. Likewise, patients with Crohn’s disease register health improvement if they take vitamin D. Patients can take this nutrient in the form of supplements,food or fromsunlight.

Question 3: REMICADE

 REMICADE Administration

Remicade is a medication given to IBD-relatedailments such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Based on theinformation retrieved from the Remicade (infliximab) official website, the doctor administers the drug through intravenous infusion. The process of administration takes approximately two hours. The patient receives the medication through a needle that the doctor places in a vein in his or her arm. Depending on the situation of the patient, the doctor decides whether to administer medication before initiating the process. The doctor also determines the right dosage for the patient depending on their unique cases. For instance, patients with Crohn’s disease will take 5mg/Kg daily then after two weeks, six weeks and lastly after eight weeks. Patients losing their response after adhering to this medication may be allowed to increase their dosage upto 10mg/Kg. For the ulcerative colitis, patients take 5mg/Kg daily, then after two weeks, after six weeks and after every eight weeks. The correct form of administering the dose for intravenous infusion should be 100mg of lyophilized infliximab ina 20 mL vial. During the administration of the drug, a healthcare professional should constantly monitor the patient to detect the development of any side effects. In particular, the physician can conduct several tests to identify any side effects.

Patients should check out for the following:

Patients taking REMICADE medication have to be very cautious of developing health complications because they affect the normal function of the drug. Case in point, patients over the age of 65 are vulnerable to serious infections as they receive medication because of a low body immunity. These patients, therefore, have to be watchful of signs and symptoms such as fever, fatigue,cough, painful skin or development of flu-like symptoms.Patients ought to report this observation to their doctors as soon as possible so that they can test for tuberculosis.

Patients with a condition called congestive heart failure also have to report their case to the doctors so as to facilitate a closer observation of their health by the health care practitioners.The reason being that the condition may worsen during REMICADE medication. Some of the signs and symptoms that a patient should note include shortness of breath, gaining weight suddenly and swelling of ankles or feet.

Lastly, patients taking REMICADE may develop allergic reactions,and their severity may differ. The allergies can develop during the medication or afterward. Patients are therefore urged to check out for common signs and symptoms such as itchy and red skin patches, difficulties in breathing, low or high blood pressure, fever, chills or chest pains. Noteworthy, these signs occur immediately after a doctor puts the patient on medication. On the other hand, delayed allergies include either or more signs that take place between three to twelve days after drug administration. For instance, a patient may experience fever, rash, headache, sore throat, joint ache difficulty in swallowing food or saliva and swelling of the face or hands.

Statistics on the status of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disorder that affects the skeletal muscles by reducing the density of the bones and making them vulnerable to fracture. The disease is mainly dominant inolder women than men. However, it affects children, adolescents, young adults and middle-aged individuals. Thus, risk factors for osteoporosis include advanced age, past fracture incidences,cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption as well as bone depleting medications.

Statistics indicate that 10% of Canadians of forty years and above suffer from osteoporosis (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2009). Out of the 1.5 million (10%) individuals, the percentage of women was four times higher than that of men. 21% of the women suffering from osteoporosis had a history of bone fracture after reaching 40 years old. Notably, areas that were most affected included the wrist, spine, hip and the pelvis.

59% of Canadians with osteoporosis are under medication. Less than 50% of 40-year-olds and above Canadians ailing from osteoporosis indulge in routine physical activities. Additionally, only 40% of them take calcium and 42% take Vitamin D. These statistics indicates that a huge population of Canadians is not getting medication for osteoporosis while only a few percentage of those people under medication aretaking their treatments seriously.

Canadian individuals of 40 years and above that have never undergone osteoporosis test are at a high risk of osteoporotic fracture. 29% of these people were women that aged 50 years while 33% comprised of men over 50 years old.  15% of these individuals weighed below 60Kg while 12 reported drinking alcohol on a daily basis. Thus, the statistics imply that a big number of Canadians are at high risk of getting osteoporosis.

Furthermore, only 47% of Canadians over 65 years have gone for bone density screening. Only one out of two Canadians with a history of arm, wrist, hip, pelvis, and spine regions have gone for bone density tests. Hence, it is evident that a majority of Canadians at risk of osteoporosis are not undergoing screening.

Lastly, statistics indicates that about 8% of Canadians have a history of fractured wrist, upper arm, hip and spine after 40 years. It is usually a health complication brought about by osteoporosis. 63% of the reported cases were anupper arm and spinal fractures consecutively. Additionally, 9% of the Canadians also reported of fractures in more than one place. This statistics, therefore, indicates that older people are at high risk of the disorder.

Question 5

  1. Five Vitamins

Folate

Niacin

Vitamin A

Vitamin B12

Vitamin D

  1. Specific Uses

Folate

Folate forms part of the essential types of vitamin B that play significant roles in the synthesis of nucleic acids such as DNA. Besides they production of nucleic acid, Folate also plays important roles related to cell division and the generation of amino acids. Specifically, folate is crucial to the proper development of the skull, spine, and brain of a fetus in the first weeks of pregnancy. In addition to facilitating the healthy development of the fetus, folate benefits pregnant women by expanding not only their blood volume but also growing fetal and maternal tissues. The Canadian Food Guide recommends enough intake of folate among women of a childbearing age to prevent complications and defects related to the neural tube. Anencephaly and spina bifida are the common neural defects associated with folate deficiency in the contemporary world. Increased folate intake in addition to higher RBC folate concentrations decreases the risk of the fetus developing neural tube defects.

Niacin

Similar to folate, niacin, at times referred to as vitamin B3 is essential for the general well-being of the body. Specifically, niacin lowers risks related to the cardiovascular systems besides improving the levels of cholesterol. The use of niacin as a cholesterol supplement is on the increase due to its efficiency in lowering the levels of triglycerides. In addition to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases through reduced levels of cholesterol, niacin helps minimize the development of atherosclerosis. Niacin helps harden the arteries, therefore, lessening the development of atherosclerosis. The intake of niacin among persons that have suffered a heart attack is important because it lowers the risk of a second occurrence. Sufficient intake of vitamin B3 minimizes the possibility of pellagra, a niacin deficiency associated disease. Medical practitioners utilize niacin for the treatment of health complications such as type 1 diabetes, cataracts, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin A

Over the years, physicians have associated the sufficient intake of vitamin A with improved eyesight and vision. Apparently, deficiencies related to the intake of vitamin A can result in visual problems due to the absence of retinal. Retinal usually combines with opsin to produce rhodopsin, which is an essential light absorbing component for color vision. Besides improved eye vision, vitamin A plays a crucial role in the maintenance of a robust immune system. Sufficient intake of vitamin A boosts the growth of cells. Specifically, vitamin A stimulates the production of retinoic acid that enhances the growth of epithelial body cells. Just like folate, Vitamin A in the form of retinoic acid is a crucial element for the transcription of genes. Retinoic acid maintains skin health through the activation of genes that enhance the development of undeveloped cells into mature epidermal cells.

Vitamin B12

The use of Vitamin B12 as a supplement is extensive. For instance, physicians recommend the oral intake of Vitamin B12 to treat conditions related to its low levels in the body. The oral intake of vitamin B12 also helps manage complications related to pernicious anemia among the elderly. Vitamin B12 boosts memory by treating Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, medical practitioners encourage sufficient intake of Vitamin B12 because it stimulates body functions related to the cognitive and immune system. Vitamin B12 is an efficient heart disease treatment in addition to slowing aging. Clinicians associate the mouth ingestion of Vitamin B12 supplements with the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Adequate consumption of vitamin B12 reduces the probability of developing age-related macular degeneration, a condition characterized by excessive production of the thyroid hormone. The application of vitamin B12 to the skin helps in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis conditions.

Vitamin D

Principally, vitamin D is associated with the treatment and prevention of rickets, a condition connected with its deficiency. In addition to preventing and treating rickets, Vitamin D enhances the development of healthy bones through the treatment of osteoporosis and osteomalacia. The vitamin also helps treat bone loss in persons with fragile or easily broken skeletons. Sufficient intake of Vitamin D promotes good health among individuals with kidney failure because it prevents low calcium and bone loss. Besides skeletal conditions, Vitamin D helps in the treatment of heart and blood vessels illnesses associated with high cholesterol and HBP. The vitamin also treats obesity, COPD, muscle weaknesses, diabetes, arthritis, bronchitis, and asthma. The fact that vitamin D regulates the levels of minerals indicates its significance in the treatment of diseases related to low concentrations of phosphorus and calcium.

Question 6

Current Vitamin D Recommendations

The adversities associated with excessive intake of vitamin D necessitated the development of recommendations that guide its consumption in the general population. Excessive intake of vitamin D not related to sun exposure can result in a condition commonly referred to as hypervitaminosis D or intoxication. Conditions related to vitamin D intoxication lead to not only to hypercalcemia but also cardiovascular and renal damage. Notably, the government recommends the use of Serum 250HD as a marker of vitamin D nutrition. Apparently, the circulation of serum 250HD levels is the best available indicator of the net incoming contributions related to foods and supplements. The standard of serum 250HD serves as biomarker exposure because it reflects the supply of vitamin D to the body. Serum 250HD is also a valuable adjunct in the examination of the intake level of vitamin D.

The use of 250HD levels as a vitamin D nutrition marker raises significant concerns related to its efficiency as a biomarker element. Critics question the probability of 250HD levels relating to health outcomes via a central pathway. Additionally, they examine the possibility of 250HD levels serving as predictors of similar outcomes. Regardless of the endless criticism regarding the use of 250HD levels as biomarker element, it is still a significant consideration in the development of DRI values for the intake of vitamin D. Factors such as dietary intake, and sun exposure affects the levels of serum 250HD concentrations in the body.

The current recommendations classify foods such as red meat, egg yolks, fortified cereals, oily fish, and liver as good sources of vitamin D. In addition to the foods as noted above, the government recommends dietary supplements as another excellent source of vitamin D. Babies of between ages 0-1 years require approximately 8.5-10 micrograms of vitamins daily. On the other hand, their one year and above counterparts and adults need around ten micrograms daily for the proper functioning of the body. Pregnant and lactating mothers also need similar amounts of vitamin D. In addition to the daily intakes of vitamin D, the department of health recommends the consumption of supplements among babies of ages 0-1 years. Apparently, children require daily supplements of 8.5 to 10 micrograms to ensure sufficiency. Similarly, the department disapproves the intake of vitamin D supplement among children receiving infant formula. Apparently, infant formula is fortified with vitamin D.

The department recommends the intake of daily supplements of 10 mg among children of ages 1-4 years. Adults and children of ages five years and above should take more supplements because it is hard for them to get enough vitamin D from naturally occurring foods. Despite the government recommending the fortification of vitamin D in other food, the department of health recommends the intake of vitamin D supplements among adult populations. Specifically, the department recommends the consumption of daily supplements containing around ten micrograms of vitamin D for healthy body functioning. For persons with limited or no exposure to sunshine, the department of health commends the consumption of daily ten micrograms of vitamin D supplements.  The department classifies this particular group of persons as those that are frail, institutionalized or wear clothing that cover most of their skin.

In addition to providing guidelines that direct the consumption of vitamin D supplements among children and adults, the department warns about excessive intake. Apparently, excessive intake of vitamin D over long periods can result in hypercalcemia, a condition in which the body absorbs more calcium than it can excrete. High levels of calcium in the body not only damage the heart and kidneys but also weaken bones. Persons that consume more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D supplements daily risk the development of hypercalcemia. Children of ages 1-10 should not consume more than 50 micrograms daily. Similarly, infants of less than one year should not have more than 25 micrograms. For persons with medical conditions that limit their intake of vitamin D supplements, adequate consultation with physicians is essential. Doctors may recommend the consumption of different types and amounts of supplement.

Question 7

Summary

Over the last few years, bisphosphonates group of drugs have been undergoing a broad range of safety reviews. Medical practitioners utilize this class of medication in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.  Apparently, the ongoing safety reviews resulted from the drugs’ connection with increased risk of a rare but severe type of bone fractures related to the thigh. The government of Canada through its health department desires to inform the public and healthcare professionals regarding the safety concerns associated with the use of bisphosphonate group of drugs. Canada’s reviews will encompass considerations of the labeling change recently communicated by the U.S FDA. According to the U.S FDA, bisphosphonates hinder the loss of bone mass in persons suffering from osteoporosis.  However, its continued use in periods longer than five years may result in fractures.

Scientific reports have suggested connections between continued consumption of bisphosphonates with a bone condition commonly denoted as atypical femur fracture. Specifically, recent reports by the ASBMR indicated the link as noted earlier. Based on the findings of the report, these rare and severe bone fractures often occur in both the general population and patients under bisphosphonate therapy. However, the risk of this rare condition increases among persons using bisphosphonate group of drugs. The risk is especially high after several years of treatment. The use of bisphosphonate is great among post-menopausal women and senior men. In addition to postmenopausal women, bisphosphonates prevent the development of osteoporosis among patients under glucocorticoids therapy.

As mentioned earlier, bisphosphonates is a class of drugs that encompasses a broad range of brand names. The commonly recognized brand names in Canada include Didrocal, Actonel, Fosamax, and Aclasta. The accessibility of the generic forms of Didrocal, Actonel, and Fosamax drugs is unrestricted in Canada. However, the government of Canada restricts the use of Aclasta in either original or generic form. Practitioners associate osteoporosis with aging. The condition usually results in disability, painful fractures, and deformity due to the loss of bone density. Regardless of the recent concerns associating the use of bisphosphonates with atypical femur fractures, the therapy has proved efficient in the management of osteoporosis among the elderly.

Notably, the health department of Canada is yet to restrict the use of bisphosphonates in the management of osteoporosis because its benefits outweigh its risks. When utilized according to the recommendations of the Canadian Product Monographs, the health benefits of bisphosphonate are extensive. Health Canada is yet to identify new information regarding the safe use of bisphosphonate that limits its potential hazards. If the Canadian Heath Department identifies new safety information, the government will undertake appropriate measures desired to inform the general public and health practitioners about the necessary course of action. Health Canada classifies unusual pain in the hip or groin areas to be the common signs of possible thigh bone fractures. The department encourages patients under bisphosphonate therapy that experience this kind of a pain to consult medical professionals for further tests.

Question 8

  1. Concerns of Supplemental Calcium

Health Canada has been undertaking reviews aimed at ascertaining the benefits and hazards associated with the intake of calcium supplements. Undoubtedly, calcium forms part of the essential minerals that enhances body processes related to the building of bones and other tissues necessary for proper body functioning. Typically, early adulthood marks the development point of bones because they reach their thickest and largest size during this period. After reaching their maximum development stage, bones become thinner gradually. The thinning of bones accelerates around the age of menopause among women. Therefore, adults require around 1000 to 1200 micrograms of calcium daily for healthy body functioning. A calcium deficit will occur if the body fails to get enough minerals from the foods consumed. These deficits force the body to remove calcium from the bones to facilitate the proper functioning of other tissues. Continued calcium deficiencies result in osteopenia, a condition characterized by the gradual thinning of bones. In severe cases, continued calcium deficits lead to osteoporosis, an illness that makes bones fragile.

Notably, not everyone can achieve the daily requirement of calcium, which necessitates supplementation. The supplementation of calcium may as well demand the intake of supplemental vitamin D to enhance the absorption of calcium and phosphorus that are essential for healthy bones. In spite of facilitating the development of healthy bones, calcium supplements have been associated with increased risks of heart attack among healthy senior women. Health Canada issued a communication about a report published in the British Medical Journal. Apparently, the report demonstrated a probable connection between calcium supplementation and increased occurrence of cardiovascular events among osteoporosis patients. Specifically, the British Journal termed calcium supplementation without supplemental vitamin D as hazardous.

After reviewing this study regarding its strengths and limitations, Health Canada established some inconsistencies between cardiovascular risks and calcium supplementation. However, the department assures the public of continued evaluations with the emergence of new data to take necessary actions desired to enhance the well-being of Canadians. According to Health Canada, calcium supplementation reduces complications related to bone loss. Similarly, these supplements lessen the risk of the development of osteoporosis during adulthood. The government regulates the intake of calcium through DRIs that ensure safe upper-level consumption and sufficient intake. Calcium DRIs are currently under review by an independent organization to examine the modern scientific evidence in relation to update measures. Health Canada anticipates the findings of the IOM study to assess and make necessary adjustments related to the currently recommended consumption levels of calcium.

Reliable calculation of the estimated daily consumption of calcium depends on the quantity and types of foods consumed in a typical week. As discussed earlier, calcium is not only essential for the development of healthy bones but also for overall good health. Physicians utilize the calcium food calculator to determine the amount of calcium in certain foods. The calculator also plays a significant role in the determination of the amount of calcium required for the proper functioning of the body. Moreover, the calcium calculator informs physicians about the procedures required during supplementation. Notably, the calcium calculator consists of questions related to a number of calcium nutrients patients get from different foods. Issues related to the gender, age, and the amount of calcium consumed are essential for the efficient calculation of the number of minerals consumed. After answering background-related questions, patients enter the servings of food they consume daily to ascertain the amount of calcium they possess. Physicians click the calculate button to determine the total amount of calcium required and compare it to the patients’ daily consumption. Clinicians often recommend calcium supplementation in the case of deficiency.

The amount of calcium supplements consumed depends on the age of the patients. For instance, children of ages 1-3 years consume 500 micrograms of calcium daily. Their 4-8 years counterparts take 800 micrograms while adolescents aged 18 years and below take 1300 micrograms, the highest amount. Adults of ages 19-50 take 1,000 mg, while their 51 and above counterparts consume 1,200 micrograms. Notably, the calcium supplement intake of pregnant and lactating teens differs from that of adults of the same category. Precisely, pregnant and breastfeeding teens consume around 1, 300 micrograms of calcium daily. On the other hand, their adult counterparts consume 1,000 micrograms. The intake recommendations as noted above denote the minimum consumption for each of the groups.

Health Canada also provides the maximum limits of calcium desirable for persons of all ages. Apparently, most people do not get amounts exceeding the classified upper limits alone. Clinicians often associate excessive intakes with the consumption of calcium supplements. At the maximum, birth to 6 months, babies should consume 1, 000 micrograms of calcium. Their 7-12 months and 1-8 years counterparts should ingest 1, 500 mg and 2,500 mg respectively. The consumption of supplements is expressly high among teenagers of ages 9-18 years because they require a significant amount of calcium for proper bone development. Their recommended upper limit is 3, 000mg. Similarly, adults of ages 19-50 years take substantially large quantities of calcium supplements. They consume 2, 500 mg while their counterparts of ages 51 and above consume 2, 000. Pregnant and breastfeeding teens and adults ingest 3,000 and 2, 500 mg supplements daily.

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Public Health Agency of Canada. (2009). The impact of osteoporosis in Canada and what are Canadians doing to maintain healthy bones. Retrieved from Public Health Agency of Canada website: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/osteoporosis-osteoporose/pdf/osteoporosis.pdf

 

 

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