Average human body contains 2-3 pounds of calcium. Almost 99% of it is in the bones and teeth, with remaining percent spread through other important function. It is the most plentiful mineral in the human body. Calcium is either contained in the bones or can be found on spread over the bones. The bones serve as storage room for calcium and when body can borrow or return the calcium whenever it needs it.
Why is regular intake important
Calcium is an essential component of the human body and a regular intake is required for the body to function healthy. It is especially important during body growth and development, pregnancy and lactation. For calcium to be absorbed efficiently body needs a steady intake of few other elements as well. These include vitamin D, protein, phosphorus and magnesium.
Calcium absorption is reduced by some substances like alcohol, sugar, tobacco, coffee and few types of medication. This is why caution is advised while enjoying some of these because they can reduce calcium levels notably, which can influence bone consistency, nerve functions and muscle contractions.
Functions of Calcium
Calcium is one of the main components used in bone and teeth formation and maintenance. Plenty of calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis (bone weakness). Calcium is an essential component for muscle contraction. It assists in maintenance of cells and connective tissues in the body. It helps control the nerve transmission, blood pressure and release of neurotransmitters. Calcium supports blood clotting system and wound healing. It is essential for hormone and enzyme production that control the energy, fat and digestion metabolism. Calcium is helpful in transporting ions across the membrane.
Deficiency of Calcium
Calcium deficiency can cause serious health problems. Lack of calcium in bones increases the risk of fracture and deformity. In combination with high sodium intake it contributes to hypertension. Insufficient calcium levels can also cause muscle spasms, leg cramps and high nerve sensitivity.
Sources of Calcium
Most commonly used sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk products, cheese, yogurt and similar other products. Other sources of calcium are vegetables, kale, cabbage, collard, mustard, seaweeds, alfalfa, broccoli, turnip greens, canned fish with bones, cooked and dried beans and peas.
Toxicity of calcium
Overdoing it with the calcium intake can also cause problems by bringing the body into an imbalanced state. Large doses can increase calcium blood levels and form calcium deposits in soft tissues like kidney and heart. Very high calcium level in blood can lead to kidney and heart failure. They may also reduce iron and zinc absorption and disturb vitamin K metabolism.
Calcium is plentiful, and may exceed amounts that are safe for children.