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Why Calcium Is So Important?

Mar 3, 2008
We all know that calcium is good for healthy bones and that growing children need to supplement their daily intake with calcium to obtain strong bones. But how many of us, as adults realize that the harm that we are doing to our body by not taking adequate quantities of calcium is not limited to only the bones?

The fact is that calcium has a significant role to play in the digestive processes and the proper functioning of the heart. Calcium is an essential element required during the metabolism of food and the processes of the heart. A diet deficient in calcium can be the basis of a heart attack or osteoporosis. When the body does not get the required amount of calcium and the calcium levels in blood begin to drop, the intelligent body tries to restore a balance by extracting the required calcium from the bones. The first symptoms of this are the calcium deposits that one sees sometimes on the nails and the skin. The end result of the calcium depletion from the bones is that they become brittle and porous and are more prone to breaking. The probability of calcium depletion has been found to be higher among elderly people and women.

The reason why this category of people is more prone to calcium deficiency is because a certain amount of estrogen and exercise is required to assimilate calcium into the human system. Since the female body does not produce estrogen after menopause, the absorption of calcium becomes an issue. The lack of movement and exercise adds to the already prevailing condition and makes matters worse. Though Vitamin D has been provided as a backup to aid in the absorption of calcium into the system, it is not a perfect and continuous solution.

The answer to the calcium deficiency issue is calcium supplements. But the efficiency on the absorption of the calcium content depends on the manner in which it is ingested. Bone meal calcium and dolomite calcium have been known to contain traces of toxic material like mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Antacids are also a good source of calcium but one needs to eat a fair quantity to be able to reach the daily intake requirement. This can also upset the digestive system and therefore is not the most recommended of options for supplementing calcium.

The best way of taking calcium supplements is to take a calcium carbonate and phosphate pills or along with a vitamin supplement and make it a habit to consume it before breakfast. The recommended dosage for children is about 800milligrams a day and a similar amount is required for women till menopause, after which it needs to be increased to 1500 milligrams a day.

In case you have a heart, kidney, liver or high blood pressure condition, you may need to check with your physician since you may be ingesting a fair amount of calcium along with your regular medicines.
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