All about Calcium - easily explained
alcium is a mineral that is required for healthy bones, clotting of blood, contraction of muscles, and also for the beating of the heart. Calcium is not produced by the body and as such needs to be constantly replenished through the intake of Calcium-rich food. When the body does not receive enough Calcium, it takes it from our bones. If this happens over a period of time, the body drains out the Calcium in our bones, thereby resulting in weak bones and increasing the chances of bone-related ailments. Women need to be extra cautious to make sure they get enough Calcium to avoid getting Osteoporosis later in life.
How much Calcium should one consume?
The daily recommended dosage is around 1000mg which can be gained by way of milk and milk products, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Milk and milk products have the highest levels of Calcium in them. However, one needs to look closely at their daily consumption of food, to understand if they are receiving the daily recommended dose of Calcium or not. While this may look like a challenge, there are many websites and apps available to ease your work.
Calcium supplements are yet another source of Calcium for the young and old alike. It is mostly advised by doctors to take in Calcium supplements, as our diet does not fulfill the daily recommended dosage of this mineral.
DYK? Calcium is required for us to be able to absorb Vitamin D
Calcium is required by the entire body to function effectively. As mentioned above, let us look at the areas where Calcium is needed in detail.
- Bones - Of course, we have heard that Calcium is required for healthy bones. Around 99% of Calcium found in our body is in bones and teeth. Since Calcium is not produced by the body, the intake of Calcium-rich food is the only source for the body.
- Contraction of muscles - The body releases Calcium when a muscle is stimulated and helps the proteins to carry out contractions. It is therefore important for the body to store Calcium for purposes other than building bones.
- Cardiovascular system - Clotting of blood is very important for all of us. Calcium relaxes the smooth muscle that surrounds blood vessels, thereby aiding the smooth functioning of the heart muscle.
What happens if there is less Calcium in the body?
If there is a lack of Calcium in our bloodstream, the body absorbs it from the bones, making them weak and prone to Calcium related ailments, such as osteoporosis, dental changes, cataracts, and alterations in the brain. A Calcium deficiency may not be very easy to find, but there are symptoms that one will notice, such as brittle nails, itchy skin, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, and cramps. If you happen to notice any of them, be sure to reach out to your physician to seek help.
Since Calcium plays such an important role than any other minerals in the body, the utmost care has to be taken to maintain the required levels of Calcium in the body.
What happens if there is more Calcium in the body?
Just as low Calcium levels may lead to certain ailments, over intake and accumulation of Calcium in the body also leads to ailments, such as renal insufficiency, vascular and soft tissue calcification, hypercalciuria (high levels of Calcium in the urine) and kidney stones. It can also cause constipation. While some of the ailments can be cured, some are long-lasting and causes a lot of discomforts.
High Calcium deposits in the body can be usually seen in those who take Calcium supplements without the knowledge of the daily required dosage.
What kind of Calcium supplements should I choose?
There are many Calcium supplements available in the market. The most commonly consumed Calcium is in the form of Milk Calcium, Calcium Citrate, etc. There are other combinations of supplements that cater to the adults which give a combination of Calcium, Vitamin D, and Magnesium; that helps in easy absorption of the mineral into our body. It is therefore advisable to choose the supplement that contains Calcium and Vitamin D for better results.
Most of the Calcium supplements available in the market do not have any major side effects. However, people with kidney disease, heart problems, sarcoidosis, or bone tumors should not take Calcium supplements unless advised by their doctors.