Calcium is an essential mineral for building and maintaining bones and teeth. It is also very important for the muscle contraction and transmission of nerve impulses.
Being widely used by the body, it is essential that it is taken in sufficient quantity, especially during childhood. In fact, at this stage of life functions of calcium they are fundamental for the formation of the skeletal structure.
Functions of calcium and its benefits
the calcium is the mineral more present in our body and is essential for the functioning of the body.
It is estimated that 1% to 2% of an adult’s body weight is formed from this mineral. In addition, 99% of the body’s calcium is found in bones and teeth.
Below we present to you functions of calcium:
1. Why do we need calcium
We need calcium from birth to old age.
In our childhood, it is necessary for the growth of human body bones and the teeth. During adolescence, bones are growing, so calcium is again essential to support growth.
Finally, as we age, the skeletal structure tends to become porous and weak, thus requiring a large supply of this mineral.
With so many crazy diets popping up every day, we often tend to steer clear of foods high in mineral calcium as whole food groups, including dairy products. Instead, we should never be without it.
But what is calcium for?
A sufficient supply of calcium for bones it is essential to strengthen the spine and ensure the good shape of the body.
It also helps prevent a number of ailments such as back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. In addition to being very painful, these conditions can interfere with freedom of movement.
When a muscle is stimulated by the nervous system, part of it is released blood calcium. This substance supports the action of proteins during the phase of contraction of muscles.
Once the calcium is “pushed out”, the muscle relaxes.
Adequate amount of calcium it can help the heart muscles contract and relax properly. Calcium also helps the nervous system maintain adequate pressure in the arteries.
If there is one calcium deficiencya hormone called calcitriol is released, which constricts smooth muscle in the arteries, thereby increasing blood pressure.
Heart muscles need extra calcium ions to contract. As the intracellular calcium concentration increases, calcium ions collect in the troponin protein.
The secretion of extracellular fluids and intracellular reserves, including that of skeletal muscle, are thus stimulated, which are activated by the calcium stored in the bone tissue.
In addition to its main functions, calcium performs a number of other important tasks for our body. Specifically:
- helps metabolize iron
- promotes the blood clotting
- stimulates the release of neurotransmitters and various hormones
- keeps blood pressure balanced
- promotes vasodilation and contraction of blood vessels
- keeps cholesterol levels under control
- contributes to healthy teeth and gums
2. Calcium-rich foods
Many people, especially those who have embarked on a vegan diet, wonder where is the football. You may be surprised to learn that in addition to calcium in milkthere are also several calcium vegetables.
You want to know which food sources of calcium can they help you supplement your daily ration of this precious mineral? Here is the list of the main foods source of calcium:
- cow milk
- yogurt (whole, goat, Greek)
- fresh cheeses (crescenza, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella)
- aged cheeses (parmesan, parmesan, pecorino)
- fresh fruit (orange, tangerine, kiwi, strawberry)
- dried fruits (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dried figs
- vegetables (broccoli, watercress, turnip greens, arugula, spinach, artichoke, onion)
- aromatic herbs (rosemary, sage, basil, mint, parsley)
- fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel, caviar, clams, oysters, anchovies)
- seeds (sesame, chia, poppy)
- legumes (beans, lentils, soy)
3. How much calcium do I need?
To prevent a lack of calciumit helps to know how much you need each day.
- children: 700 mg to 1100 mg, depending on age
- adolescents: 1300 mg per day
- adults: 1000 mg per day
- over 50: 1200 mg per day
Let’s not forget that the absorption of calcium is favored by another precious substance for our organism, the Vitamin D.
4. Calcium deficiency
In addition to calcium deficiency symptomsInsufficient intake of this mineral carries several health risks. The most obvious is osteoporosis (decalcification of the bones) which can cause bone fractures.
When you don’t get enough calcium from the diet, your body will use the supply of this mineral from your bones, for example for blood clotting.
This means that getting enough calcium every day is extremely important.
5. Calcium supplements
If during a blood test you discover that you have calcium deficienciesyour doctor may prescribe a supplement.
In this regard, it is recommended to respect what is indicated in the dosage of the product, without exceeding the recommended doses. Taking the supplement on an empty stomach facilitates its absorption.
Supplements are formulated with different proportions of calcium and elemental calcium compounds.
The elemental calcium content of the most popular products is as follows:
- calcium carbonate: 40%
- calcium citrate: 21%
- calcium lactate: 13%
- calcium gluconate: 9%
6. Risks of supplements
Taking calcium through supplements is not without risk. Too much calcium in the blood it can indeed have a number of contraindications. Let’s take a brief look at them together.
Research shows sporadic cases of:
- bloating in the stomach
To lessen side effects, it is always recommended to take calcium supplements on an empty stomach, preferably with meals.
As already mentioned, regarding the dosage, it is important to strictly follow the football information indicated in the instructions for each product.
A excess calcium this can lead to a number of complications for our human bodyincluding:
- kidney dysfunction
- kidney stones
- decreased ability to absorb iron
- predisposition to heart attack
Other complications, including the development of cancers, are still being studied.
Calcium supplements can interfere with taking certain types of medications, such as antibiotics or blood pressure medications.
If you are taking this type of medicine, your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment for you based on your physiological needs.
Football is the more abundant mineral in our body. It is not only important for the bones, but it is also good for the heart, the muscles and the nervous system. THE calcium deficiency symptoms they can therefore lead to an evening of dysfunction in your body.
Dairy products have long been considered the main source of calcium, but you can also find it in abundance in many plant-based foods.
And although many people take supplements, it is good to know that there are contraindications that should not be underestimated.