Calcium - Role and Sources

by Caroline Bahna
Last updated on 19 August 2019

Calcium - Role and Sources

Everybody knows that calcium deficiency can cause health issues. The most known are related to the skeletal system. We also know that vitamin D3 and calcium go hand in hand when it comes to our bone health. But is that all we need to know? Studies have shown that calcium plays a very important role in our body overall. Two other important systems which need calcium in order to function properly are the nervous and circulatory system. It also helps your body release hormones and other chemicals.

99% of the calcium found in the body is in the bones and teeth. However, it is also found in blood, muscles, and other tissues. It is true that its main role is helping maintain healthy bones and teeth, but it also helps control the levels of magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, heart issues, problems with proper blood clotting, weakness, fatigue, and kidney stones; it might also worsen other diseases which have a different main cause. Nonetheless, too much of it (hypercalcemia) can be life-threatening.

As you get older you need to pay attention to your calcium intake. If your body doesn’t have enough, your overall health will be affected because each cell in the body uses it in some way. Most people get enough calcium from dairy. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the best sources; however, you shouldn’t limit yourself to these only. Vegans and people who don’t consume dairy need to pay more attention. Luckily, there are plenty of non-dairy calcium sources such as spinach, kale, okra, collards, white beans, figs, sardines, tofu, oranges, almonds, and calcium-fortified foods. Supplements are also recommended to maintain proper levels, but they shouldn’t be consumed instead of the natural sources.

People who take calcium supplements need to know that taking more than 500mg at once is not effective. Its absorption is best when the previously stated dose is respected. Therefore, if someone needs to take 1000mg/day, it is better to divide the quantity into two doses. People should pay attention to the attractive commercials which state that all your health issues are solved with one supplement per day.

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