Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, About 99 percent of calcium is found in bones and teeth.
The remaining 1 percent can be found in the blood and soft tissues.
Calcium in the body works to form strong bones and teeth, And help the muscles contract, relax and transmit nerve impulses.
How does the body get calcium?
Calcium is provided in the food we eat and from calcium supplements.
Vitamin D and thyroid hormone (PTH) help regulate how much calcium is absorbed.
The kidneys convert vitamin D into an active hormone (calcitriol), Which helps increase the absorption of calcium from the intestine into the blood.
A healthy diet provides 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.
Calcium requirements of the body
Adequate calcium intake is determined by age; children aged 1-3 years, Need 500 mg of calcium.
It is 4-8 years of age need 800 mg.
A child from 9 to 18 years old needs 1,300 mg of calcium per day.
Adults need 1,000 mg daily and adults over 50 years of age need 1,200 mg of calcium per day.
People age 50 and older need more calcium to prevent osteoporosis and other age-related conditions such as hair loss.
Calcium in food
Calcium can be found in processed or packaged foods such as cereals, biscuits or bread.
It is also found in juices and dried drinks, and milk substitutes such as soy or almond milk.
But you shouldn’t always trust calcium nutrition information on food labels too often.
Other foods that naturally contain calcium include spinach, Sardines and salmon.
Calcium is also available in walnuts. and leafy vegetables (broccoli, Spinach etc.), orange juice, oysters, soy, almonds, and green peas.
Read about: Does cow’s milk gain weight?
Calcium content in food per serving
Calcium-fortified orange juice , 6 oz 375 mg
canned sardines, 3 oz 325 mg
boiled kale, 1/2 cup 99 mg
Health Benefits of Calcium
One of the most important health benefits of calcium is that it helps maintain the health of bones and teeth, It also helps prevent colon cancer and reduce obesity.
Man needs calcium from birth to old age. It is required for the proper growth of bones and teeth in childhood; during adolescence, We need it for bone development.
As we get older, Our bones tend to become weak, Which requires a sufficient amount of calcium.
Here are a number of calcium’s health benefits:
Calcium strengthens the spine, helps relieve back pain, and maintains its proper shape.
It also prevents arthritis and osteoporosis, which can hinder freedom of movement, And they are very painful.
Calcium efficiently helps maintain optimal body weight in both males and females.
Protects the heart muscles
Adequate amounts of this mineral can help the heart muscles contract and relax properly.
It also helps the nervous system maintain proper pressure in the arteries.
if there is a decrease in calcium, A hormone called calcitriol is released, which leads to the contraction of the smooth muscles of the arteries, Thus increasing blood pressure.
Resists to cancer
Dr. Ulrike Peters published, Report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, It reports that having enough calcium prevents the risk of colon cancer in general.
Calcium also inhibits the growth of benign tumors, Which have the potential to lead to cancer.
Its supplementation reduces the risk of benign tumors as well as non-malignant tumors in the colon.
Reduces menstrual problems
Calcium reduces the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as dizziness, and mood swings, andhigh blood pressure, and many more.
Low levels of this mineral trigger the release of hormones responsible for mood swings before menstruation including irritability and depression.
Prevents kidney stones
Kidney stones are crystallized deposits of calcium and other minerals in the human urinary tract.
The most common form of kidney stones is oxalate stones.
Previously, It was believed that a high intake of minerals or their high absorption affected kidney stones.
But recent studies have shown that eating high amounts of calcium in food significantly reduces the risk of kidney stones.
Regulates blood pressure
Research has reported that a plant-based diet that contains large amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber will lead to regulated blood pressure.
Other researchers have concluded that increased food intake leads to high blood pressure.
Calcium protects your teeth by keeping your jawbones strong and durable throughout your life. Which, in turn, ensures narrow teeth in which bacteria cannot grow.
Calcium helps in the easy movement of nutrients through cell membranes.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency
It is very easy to recognize a lack of calcium in the body, This is done by a number of very obvious symptoms, including the following:
- Muscle pain and cramps
- High blood pressure
- Weak teeth
- Periodontal disease
- Premenstrual cramps
Children who have not been fed calcium since birth also suffer from rickets. and muscle weakness.
Calcium deficiency can lead to hair loss and other serious conditions. And here calcium supplements should be taken.
Calcium supplements are one of the most popular and common dietary supplements. Due to its multiple uses, Among them…
Uses of Calcium Supplements
Calcium supplements are used effectively in the treatment of indigestion, And as an antacid substance.
Oral calcium intake is also effective for treating and preventing hypocalcification, And for kidney failure.
In addition, it is an effective treatment for hyperthyroidism, as oral calcium intake reduces thyroid hormone levels.
Calcium supplements also help treat pregnancy complications, high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
Calcium also helps prevent tooth loss in the elderly.
Some research suggests that women who eat a lot of calcium have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Some research has found that consuming more calcium from the diet or supplements, Reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes.
Calcium supplements also help prevent endometrial cancer. as well as swelling of the mouth, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and prevention of the risk of stroke.
Negative Health Effects of Calcium Supplementation
In research published in the British Medical Journal, we find that since 2011, there has been a 24-27% increase in the risk of heart attack for those who took 500 mg of calcium a day.
And calcium supplements are not for everyone. For example If you have a health condition that causes excess calcium in your bloodstream, You should avoid calcium supplements.
There is also a scientific controversy surrounding a link between prostate cancer and calcium.
Some studies have shown that a high calcium intake from dairy products and supplements may increase the risk.
Another study showed no increased risk of total calcium-related prostate cancer.
Calcium supplements can also cause constipation. But if you are taking another supplement or medication that binds stool, The addition of calcium supplements may cause a problem.
Furthermore, hypercalcemia may cause nausea, vomiting, confusion and other neurological symptoms.
And when taking calcium supplements, you should avoid eating these foods, Because they may interfere with calcium absorption:
Namely, caffeine, coffee and soda, and high-salt foods.
Vitamin D and calcium absorption
The main function of vitamin D in the body is to help absorb calcium.
The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 – 800 units of vitamin D per day.
By eating more fish such as salmon , mackerel or sardines, Or take vitamin D supplements and spend more time outdoors.