Saturday, 23 November 2013

Calcium - What Are the Benefits of Calcium?

Calcium Benefits

Watch the video describing the benefits and sources of calcium by Andy Williams below:

The human body requires the mineral calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also needed for proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles, so it is important to keep blood calcium at a healthy level for a healthy life. To stay healthier and to live for a longer period, calcium intake is very important. Some benefits of calcium are:
  • Calcium is the major component of bones and teeth and it is essential for growth.
  •  Proper functioning of various organs depends on the proper supply of calcium. 
  •  Calcium is helpful for the prevention of osteoporosis. 
  •  It is beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding women because it helps in maintaining weight and helpful in improving premenstrual moods. 
  •  Calcium gives protection against colon cancer.
  •  Eating food rich in calcium ensures a healthy life for all.
  •  Calcium is one of the most important elements in our body because it is a structural component of bones, teeth, and soft tissues and is essential in many of the body's metabolic processes.
  • Calcium is used to regulate muscle and nerve functions, glandular secretions, and blood vessel dilation and contraction.
  •  Calcium is also essential for proper blood clotting.
  •  Calcium is beneficial to the body in many ways. Vitamin D works together with calcium on the bone and kidney and is necessary for intestinal absorption of calcium. Most dietary calcium is absorbed in the small intestine as albumin, a simple protein. Calcium is deposited in bone with phosphorous in a crystalline form as calcium phosphate.
Calcium Deficiency Symptoms

Deficiency of calcium in low level will not show any immediate health effect. But, over the long term, dietary deficiency eventually depletes bone stores, rendering the bones weak and prone to fracture. A low blood calcium level will result in the disturbance in the body's calcium regulating mechanisms and nerve and muscle impairments will be the adverse effects. Skeletal muscles can spasm and the heart can beat abnormally due the deficiency of calcium and it can be fatal also.

Calcium Side Effects

Large amounts of calcium produce constipation and an increased risk of kidney stones. When excess calcium is ingested over long periods, or when calcium is combined with increased amounts of vitamin D, calcium toxicity occurs. Calcium toxicity is sometimes found after excessive intravenous administration of calcium. Toxicity is occurred by abnormal deposition of calcium in tissues and by elevated blood calcium levels which is called hypercalcemia. Under these circumstances, bone density will be lost resulting in hypercalcemia which can cause kidney stones and abdominal pain. Some cancers can also be the result of this hypercalcemia by invading and killing bone cells causing them to release calcium. Very high levels of calcium can result in appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, seizures, and even coma.

Requirements and Supplementation

Dietary calcium is required by the body for growing and making new bone or milk. Requirements are therefore greatest during childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Women need calcium for different reasons after their 20s. Depending on our genes, there can be small increases in bone mass between 20 and 30 years of age. Bone loss begins in mid-adulthood and increases considerably at menopause period for women. Even when we stop building bone, we need calcium for other functions and to replace what is being lost each day. It's imperative that we need calcium throughout our lifespan for different reasons.

The best way to meet your calcium requirements is through the diet. Include milk, yogurt, natural cheese, processed cheese, fruit juices, cereal in the diet. If you are not able to meet your calcium requirements through food, it is advisable to take a supplement which is necessary to reach your daily requirements. 

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