IT IS one thing to jack up our calcium intake, and another to let our calcium loss bleed. What’s worse, we often do not know how calcium leaves our body unnecessarily.

Five scientifically proven factors hasten the escape of calcium from our body.

Age and gender—particularly middle age, that is between 40 and 50 years old, especially among women. Bones in the body start to thin out around this age. While dietary requirement up to age 50 is 1,000 mg of calcium per day, women need 1,200 mg daily at age 51 to maintain sufficient bone density. Men only need that dose at age 71. That gap of 20 years represents a rough difference in the thinning speeds of bones across genders.

To avoid calcium deficiency, maintain a regular intake of calcium supplement at proper dosage. Do not rely on milk products, even those with high-calcium content labels. For one thing, not all milk products have proper labels. For another, if you check their label, you may need as much as four glasses of milk daily to meet your calcium need.

Salt. Sodium chloride or table salt is also a major culprit in depriving our body of calcium. Because it increases urination at higher intake, it increases the washing out of calcium from our body. So the more salt we eat, the more calcium carried away in our urine. Since almost all food products today contain salt, avoiding as much of it as possible is a good rule of thumb.

Cloudy weather. In addition to the threat of another typhoon Yolanda, cloudy weather increases urination; thus the removal of calcium from our body through the urine. Two reasons can bring this outcome.

First, low-temperatures increase the need of the body for heat, thus increasing metabolism and the toxic byproducts are eliminated through the urine. Urine must increase in volume to do so.

Second, low temperatures make it superfluous for the body to store so much water for cooling purposes. This is one biological reason why our body is 85 percent water; it is that need to cool ourselves with all our continuous metabolisms that produce heat.

As environmental temperature drops, our body needs to eliminate more of this water through the urine. Again, more urine output means more calcium is eliminated from the body.

Another reason why cloudy weather exacerbates low levels of calcium in the body is the absence of sunshine. Without sunlight, the body cannot generate the much-needed vitamin D in our skin to properly absorb our calcium intakes. Vitamin D supplementation helps a lot here.

Dark skin. While the Filipino skin is not as dark as black skin, it is neither as light as Caucasian skin. Dark skin prevents effective sunlight absorption into the body, preventing it from effectively transforming raw materials in our skin to vitamin D.