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Calcium is Important for Breast-feeding Moms

Breast-feeding MomsWomen who breast-feed may need to be watchful about getting enough calcium to keep their teeth and gums healthy, new animal research suggests.

In experimentations with rats, researchers found that lactating rodents were mainly susceptible to the effects of low calcium intake on the bones that hold up the teeth. Such bone-density loss can speed the succession of any existing gum disease.

Though the findings come from animals, they do suggest it's significant for breast-feeding mothers to embrace enough calcium in their diets, lead researcher Dr. Kanako Shoji told Reuters Health.

Shoji and colleagues at Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry in Japan report the findings in the Journal of Periodontology.

Calcium requirements increase

During breast-feeding, a woman's calcium load go up to meet her growing baby's needs, the researchers point out. In addition, certain hormonal transforms during breast-feeding may contribute to bone-density loss.

So adequate calcium intake - from foods like milk, cheese and fortified cereals and juice - may become particularly important. The suggested calcium intake for women ages 19 to 50, breast-feeding or not, is 1,000 milligrams a day.

If a woman doesn't find adequate calcium from food, Shoji noted, supplements are an option.

Calcium is Important for Breast-feeding Moms