Calcium is a nutrient needed by all living organisms, including humans. It is the most abundant mineral in the body and is vital for bone health.
Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones, and 99% of the calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
Calcium occurs naturally in many foods, and food manufacturers add it to certain products. Supplements are also available.
Besides calcium, people also need vitamin D as this vitamin helps the body absorb calcium . It comes from vitamin D, fish oil , fortified dairy products, and sunlight exposure.
This article examines why the body needs calcium, which foods are rich in calcium, what happens if the body doesn’t have enough, and the pros and cons of taking supplements.
Why Do We Need Calcium?
Calcium plays a variety of roles in the body. These include:
Approximately 99% of the calcium in the human body is found in bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for the development, growth and maintenance of bone.
As children grow up, calcium contributes to the development of their bones. After a person stops growing, calcium continues to help protect bones and slow the loss of bone density, which is a natural part of the aging process.
Already ma n opoz women who have experienced, or at a higher rate than men from teens can lose bone density. There is a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, and a doctor may recommend calcium supplements.
Calcium helps regulate muscle contraction. The body releases calcium when it stimulates a nerve muscle. Calcium helps the proteins in the muscle do the contraction job.
When the body pumps calcium out of the muscle, the muscle relaxes.
Calcium plays an important role in blood clotting. The coagulation process is complex and has several steps. These contain a number of chemicals, including calcium.
Calcium’s role in muscle function includes maintaining the movement of the heart muscle . Calcium relaxes the smooth muscle that surrounds blood vessels. Several studies have shown a possible link between high calcium consumption and low blood pressure .
Calcium is a co-factor for many enzymes. Without calcium, some important enzymes cannot work efficiently.
Studies have also suggested that consuming enough calcium can cause:
People can get calcium from a variety of foods and beverages.
The following are good resources:
Some dark green vegetables, such as spinach, contain calcium. However, they also contain high levels of oxalic acid. Studies show that oxalic acid reduces the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
How Much Do I Need
According to the Dietary Supplements Agency (ODS), people need the following amounts of calcium:
A doctor may recommend supplemental calcium for:
The following conditions or lifestyle habits can cause low calcium levels, also known as hypokalemia:
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