What You Need To Know About Calcium

shutterstock_149580569Our body requires certain nutrients in order to perform certain functions. It is too bad that most people do not have the basic idea of what these nutrients can do. Calcium is one of those nutrients. Here are some important facts about calcium that everyone should know about.

Calcium Basics

Calcium is an essential mineral. It is the most abundant mineral in our body. Most of the body’s calcium stores are found in our bones and teeth. But calcium can also be found in our blood, muscles and other bodily fluids.

Calcium Functions

Calcium is an important mineral for building and keeping our bones strong. Calcium is essential for our bones to maintain better structure. Calcium is also essential for better muscle function. It helps the muscles contract and expand. This mineral is also essential for healthy blood vessels. Calcium also aids in the secretion of enzymes and hormones in the body. Calcium also plays a role in the effective signal transmission of the nerve cells throughout the nervous system.

Daily Calcium Requirements

Our calcium daily requirement depends on age as well as a number of other factors. Babies need about 200mg of calcium daily. The requirement increases as the baby grows up. By the time kids reach 9 years old up to their teenage years, they need about 1,300mg of calcium to support their growth and development.

In adults, normal daily calcium requirements should be around 1,000mg for both men and women. Seniors from 51 years old and above may require an average of 1,200mg of calcium to maintain their bone structure and keep it strong. With regards to certain conditions, people may need calcium in different amounts. Pregnant women who breastfeed may require calcium levels averaging around 1,000mg to 1,300mg daily. People suffering from Crohn’s or celiac disease may need more calcium since their condition may affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

Sources Of Calcium

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese contain high amounts of calcium. Green, leafy vegetables are also considered as good sources of calcium. Other food products are also fortified with calcium such as tofu, soymilk, rice milk, juices and cereals. If you still need more calcium than you can get from your daily diet, taking calcium supplements may be the next available option.

Other Calcium Facts

People should also know that taking calcium alone may not be enough. Studies show that vitamin D intake may also affect how effective the body can absorb calcium. Lack of vitamin D may affect how our bodies can take in the calcium that it needs. Protein intake can also affect calcium absorption. Medical experts recommend that taking a balanced diet with adequate protein and vitamin D is also essential when you try to take calcium. Some studies have indicated that lack of calcium may be associated to increased risk of high blood pressure as well as higher risk of other conditions such as weight gain, colon cancer and stroke.

 

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