It is well known that adequate calcium is essential for maintaining bone and teeth strong and healthy, and in fact this is where about 99% of the approximately 1.2 kg stored in the average adult human body.
But these are not, in fact, the most important function of this
essential mineral in the body, because it is also necessary to calcium
in the blood in very precise quantities to ensure that certain vital
physiological processes can continue unchanged.
include the constriction and dilation of blood vessels - essential for
the regulation of body temperature, the transmission of nerve impulses,
the release of energy for muscle contraction, secretion of certain vital
hormones such as insulin and blood clotting.
evidence of the importance of these functions is only necessary to
observe that the body draws calcium from the bones to maintain levels of
this mineral necessary should they in danger of falling too low due to
inadequate diet of blood. From
bones, like all structures of the body, they are in a constant state of
regeneration and repair, the potential consequences if this deficiency
persists over time can be catastrophic license.
extreme cases, deficiency in children and adolescents can lead to
weakness and abnormalities characteristic of the disease, rickets. In
adults, older adults in particular, the most obvious consequence may be
the loss of bone density called osteoporosis - a major cause of the
significant increase in the incidence of serious fractures are a
significant risk factor for health of the elderly.But there are other problems that can be associated with low calcium intake.
is good evidence to implicate low calcium intake as a risk factor for
developing high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) in women
who are susceptible to this potentially dangerous condition; and, interestingly, research has shown that calcium supplementation
for a daily intake of 1000-1200 mg daily may also be effective in
reducing blood pressure in the general population.
A number of studies have linked low calcium levels with premenstrual
syndrome (PMS) and indicate that supplementation may help reduce the
severity of these symptoms.
now, there is some evidence that low calcium intake may tend to
stimulate the body to deposit more fat within existing fat cells. Although
the relationship is not fully understood, it seems safe to say that an
abundant supply of calcium in the diet or complementary is essential for
success in the pursuit of a weight loss program.
the importance of calcium in all these aspects, it is alarming that the
average intake for most people in the developed world are known to fall
well below the recommended level, and the numbers are particularly
serious for adolescents whose bones that have the highest need for growth. Perhaps up to 75% of boys and 90% of girls in this age group may be deficient in calcium.
products are by far the best sources of calcium in the diet and 8 oz
serving of milk or yogurt, or 1 ½ ounces of cheese will provide about
300 mg of calcium. Green
vegetables except spinach, are also a useful source, but you would need
3 to 4 servings of, say, broccoli or kale, to match the calcium
obtained from a single standard glass milk. It
should also be noted that consumption of a diet high in protein and
salt, which is characteristic of those affluent Western world, is known
to increase calcium excretion and consequently the risk of failure and
problems associated with strength and bone health.
this reason, and a number of other variables may affect the individual
need for calcium in the diet, the Food and Nutrition Board has
established figures of the Adequate Intake (AI) of the material mineral rather than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), commonly prescribed for vitamins and other essential nutrients.
Babies and children should start with a dose of 200 mg daily to 800 mg increasing to eight years. Nine children and again, young people whose bones are still growing,
over 50 years and pregnant or lactating women have greater needs and
should aim to 1.300 1,200 mg of calcium daily.To maintain health and bone density fully formed, adults between 20
and 50 should aim to consume 1,000 mg of calcium a day, through a
combination of diet and supplements.
In all cases, the combination of this supplement at least 400 IU of vitamin D help with absorption of calcium required.Calcium supplements should also always be taken with food; the safety limit recommended intake of total calcium is 2,500 mg, below which there should be no problem.However,
since a high intake of calcium may impair the absorption of other
minerals, especially magnesium, zinc and iron, it is recommended that
extra calcium should always be taken as part of a complete supplement multi-minerals.
By: Steve Smith