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Calcium is a mineral that is found in many foods. It is important for strong bones and teeth, nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting. In this article we will discuss the health benefits of calcium, sources of calcium, calcium deficiency symptoms, side effects of too much calcium, and the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium.

What is Calcium

Calcium was discovered in the early nineteenth century. It is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and an atomic number of 20.

Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. Calcium is essential for life, and is involved in many biological processes.

Calcium is a mineral that is found in many foods. It is important for strong bones and teeth, nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting. Calcium also plays a role in cell signaling and the release of hormones.

Health Benefits of Calcium

Calcium is important for many different bodily functions. There are countless calcium health benefits. Some of the most important include:

  • Bone health: Calcium is essential for the development and maintenance of strong bones. It helps to prevent osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become weak and brittle).
  • Muscle function: Calcium is needed for muscle contraction.Your muscles need calcium for contraction.  If you don’t have enough calcium, your muscles won’t be able to contract properly. That might not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to some serious problems. For example, if your heart muscles can’t contract properly, it can lead to heart failure. So make sure you’re getting enough calcium!
  • Nerve function: Calcium plays an important role in transmitting nerve signals. Without calcium, our nervous system would not be able to function properly.
  • Strong Teeth: Without calcium, our teeth would be weak and prone to breakage. This essential mineral gives our teeth strength and durability, helping us to keep a healthy smile.
  • Blood clotting: When calcium is present, it helps with blood clotting by binding with substances in the blood that are needed for clotting. Calcium also plays a role in ensuring healthy blood vessels and preventing unwanted clots from forming.
  • Helps Digestion: Calcium plays an important role in aiding digestion. Without adequate calcium, the digestive process can be slowed down, making it difficult to properly absorb nutrients. Individuals who don’t get enough calcium in their diet may find that they have difficulty properly digesting their food. To maintain a healthy digestive system, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet.
  • Reduces PMS symptoms: High levels of calcium have been linked with reducing PMS symptoms. A study showed that participants who had the highest levels of calcium in their diets were less likely to experience PMS symptoms. Another study showed that calcium supplements can help reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.
Calcium: Sources, Health Benefits, Deficiency, Side effects, RDA
– Natto is a very good source of calcium

Calcium Deficiency Symptoms

Calcium deficiency can lead to several health problems, including:

  • Osteoporosis: This is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. It is more common in women than men, and becomes more common with age. Osteoporosis can be prevented by getting enough calcium throughout life.
  • Rickets: Rickets is a condition that commonly affects young children. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D and calcium, which leads to softening of the bones. Symptoms include bowed legs, deformities of the spine, and impaired growth. Treatment typically involves corrective measures such as braces, surgery, and vitamin supplements.
  • Muscle cramps: Calcium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps. This occurs because the lack of calcium inhibits the muscle’s ability to contract properly, leading to painful spasms.
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet: Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet are common symptoms of calcium deficiency. Calcium is essential for nerve function and when levels are low, nerves can become damaged. This can lead to numbness and tingling, as well as muscle cramps and weakness.
  • Convulsions: Convulsions can be a sign of a calcium deficiency. When the body does not have enough calcium, it can lead to muscle spasms, including convulsions.
  • Lethargy: Calcium deficiency is often associated with Lethargy. When the body is not getting enough calcium, it can lead to many health problems, including Lethargy. If you are experiencing Lethargy and think that you may be suffering from a calcium deficiency, it is important to consult with your doctor to get to the root of the problem.
  • Loss of appetite: A lack of calcium can result in loss of appetite, especially in those who are deficient. This is because a lack of calcium can lead to an inability to properly absorb food, which can cause a person to feel full or nauseous after eating very little.
  • Irregular heartbeat: A lack of calcium can lead to a deficiency in magnesium, which is the mineral responsible for heart rhythm. A lack of magnesium can lead to an irregular heartbeat, which can be very dangerous.
  • Constipation: A lack of calcium can lead to constipation. This is because calcium is necessary for the muscles in the digestive system to work properly. Without enough calcium, those muscles can’t do their job and things start to back up. So if you’re not getting enough calcium, it could be one of the reasons why you’re constantly backed up.
  • Heartburn or acid reflux: Calcium deficiency can lead to heartburn or acid reflux. If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, your body may pull it from your bones, which can lead to pain and discomfort. To help prevent heartburn or acid reflux, make sure you are eating enough calcium-rich foods..

Read Also: 25 Everyday Foods Packed With Magnesium You Probably Didn’t Know

Sources of Calcium

If you’re looking to increase your calcium intake, dairy products are a great place to start.

Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all excellent sources of calcium. You can also get calcium from calcium-fortified foods like orange juice, soy milk, and certain cereals.

Dairy products aren’t the only foods that contain Calcium though; there are plenty of other options out there if you’re looking to increase your intake. Here are some other calcium-rich foods to add to your diet:

Here’s a list of foods high in calcium

Foods (100g)CalciumRDA (%)
Cheese Parmesan1376mg138%
Sesame seeds989mg99%
Chives813mg81%
Radishes629mg63%
Sardines382mg38%
Tofu (dried)364mg36%
Salmon277mg28%
White Beans240mg24%
Natto217mg22%
Milk (Sheep)193mg19%
Figs (dried)162mg16%
Source: Nutrition Data

Read Also: This Vegan Food Contains 3x Times More Calcium Than Milk

Side Effects of Too Much Calcium

Taking too much calcium can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Kidney stones.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Calcium

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium is:

  • 1000 mg for adults up to age 50
  • 1200 mg for adults over age 50
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more calcium, about 1500 mg per day.

Too much calcium can be harmful, so it is important not to exceed the RDA. If you think you might be deficient in calcium, speak to your doctor. They can order a blood test to check your calcium levels.

Calcium Supplements

You can always supplement yourself using a calcium supplement – although it is always best to receive calcium from your food. Here are some of the best calcium supplements currently in the market.

Calcium: Sources, Health Benefits, Deficiency, Side effects, RDA

Citracal Maximum Plus is a highly soluble and easily digested calcium citrate supplement that’s perfect for adults looking to support bone health. With 630 mg of calcium and 1000 IU of vitamin D3 per caplet, Citracal Maximum Plus makes it easy to reach your daily calcium goals.

Calcium: Sources, Health Benefits, Deficiency, Side effects, RDA

Take care of your bones and your heart with Pure Encapsulations’ Calcium Magnesium (Citrate) supplement! This product gives you a healthy dose of both calcium and magnesium so that you can keep your body strong and healthy. Make sure to take this supplement regularly to support optimal health!

Calcium: Sources, Health Benefits, Deficiency, Side effects, RDA

If you’re looking for a supplement that can help promote liver detoxification and maintain normal cholesterol levels, Thorne Calcium D-Glucarate is a great option. CDG has been shown to bind to toxins and excess hormones, preventing them from being recycled and helping your body eliminate them more effectively. This unique formula also includes calcium to support optimal health and function.

Calcium supplements should be avoided in cases associated with hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria, chronic renal dysfunction, nephrolithiasis, or a history of nephrolithiasis. They should be used with caution and with medical supervision in hypertension because blood pressure control may be affected. During pregnancy and breastfeeding no problems have been reported. Calcium supplements may be needed during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Interactions of calcium with other ingredients

Alcohol – Excessive intake of alcohol may reduce calcium absorption.

Fluoride – Calcium can reduce the absorption of fluoride and vice versa, so they are administered 2 hours apart.

Iron – Calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate can reduce iron absorption. They should be administered 2 hours apart (iron absorption in many preparations containing iron and calcium together is not significantly altered).

Vitamin D – Increased calcium absorption and increased risk of hypercalcemia,. Increased absorption may be desirable for certain categories of individuals.

Zinc – Calcium may reduce zinc absorption.

Calcium Absorption

  • Absorption is reduced by phytic acids found in fibre-rich cereals. However, at normal intake, calcium absorption is not significantly affected in the long term.
  • Absorption is also reduced by oxalic acid (found mainly in cauliflower and spinach).
  • High sodium intake can reduce calcium retention.
  • The degree of absorption increases during periods when the body requires high amounts of calcium (e.g. in childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and breastfeeding) and decreases in the elderly.
Calcium: Sources, Health Benefits, Deficiency, Side effects, RDA
– Tofu is another great vegan source of calcium

Calcium Metabolism

Calcium is mainly absorbed in the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum by an active process involving vitamin D.

More than 99% of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones and teeth. Calcium levels in the blood are homeostatically regulated by parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and vitamin D and a number of other hormones; calcium excretion is through the urine.

Although much is reabsorbed in the renal tubules, the amount excreted depends on the amount of calcium absorbed and the degree of bone loss.

Excretion of unabsorbed and endogenously excreted calcium occurs through the faeces.

Calcium is also excreted in sweat and is also excreted in breast milk.

Final Take

Calcium is an essential mineral for our health. It allows us to keep a healthy heart and strong bones, but too much of it can lead to side effects like kidney stones or constipation.

The RDA of calcium that we need varies depending on the age group, with pregnant and breastfeeding women needing more than others.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your intake without having adverse reactions, try adding some tofu or kale into your diet!

These are just some of the many foods rich in calcium that can be easily integrated into our diets.

There is also a variety of calcium supplements available on the market, but it’s always best to speak with a doctor before starting any supplement regimen, especially if you have other health conditions.

Additionally, be aware that taking calcium alongside other medications or nutrients can either reduce or increase its absorption rate. For example, pairing calcium with iron supplements is not advised as it can inhibit iron absorption.

By being mindful of these potential interactions, we can make sure we’re getting the most out of our calcium intake!

In conclusion, calcium is an essential mineral for our health and well-being.

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