Calcium the essential component for bone growth but did you know that you could be putting yourself at risk if you are calcium deficient?
Hi it’s Dee, your Health and Wellness Coach here again.
We know calcium to be one of the more common minerals and one that is most abundant in the body. Calcium is an important mineral not only for its support and functioning of bones and teeth but also for hormonal secretion, muscle function, nerve transmission and vascular contraction and vasodilation.
Calcium is found in some food naturally such as milk, yoghurt and cheese and also in non-diary sources such as kale, broccoli and cabbage. Some food has also been fortified with calcium such as bread flour by law (except wholemeal), breakfast cereals, soya drinks and fruit juices. Calcium is also available as a supplement.
The adult reference nutrient intake for calcium is 1000mg a day for both adult male and females. This is the amount considered sufficient to meet the requirements of most people. Teenagers have a higher requirement of 1300mg for males and females aged 11-18). As an example, a 200ml glass of skimmed milk will provide 34% of an adult’s daily need for calcium. While the tolerable upper level of calcium is 2,500mg a day, I would not recommend exceeding this as higher dosage could lead to stomach pains and diarrhoea.
Although frank calcium deficiencies are uncommon, dietary intakes that are below the recommended levels may well have a negative impact on health over the long term which may include:
1 Osteoporosis – When calcium intake is low or ingested calcium is poorly absorbed, bone breakdown occurs as the body uses its stored calcium to maintain normal biological functions. Bone loss also occurs as part of the normal aging process, particularly in postmenopausal women due to decreased amounts of oestrogen.
2 Hypertension – Several clinical trials have demonstrated a relationship between increased calcium intakes and both lower blood pressure and risk of hypertension.
3 Cardiovascular Disease – Calcium has been proposed to help reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk by decreasing intestinal absorption of lipids, increasing lipid excretion, lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, and promoting calcium influx into cells
4 Kidney Stones – A lot of people would say that their doctor told them the reason they have kidney stones is because of too much calcium intake. In actual fact you have kidney stones because of raging osteoporosis. The lack of calcium in the blood would therefore send signals to your parathyroid gland to extract more calcium from the bone.
5 Arthritis – Inflammation of the joints and an increase in calcium intake could help symptoms over time.
6 Bell’s Palsy – Caused by osteoporosis of the skull and the nerves (the 7th cranial nerve) affecting one side of the face and could seem like symptoms of stroke.
7 Dental Problems – Again, this is caused by osteoporosis of the skull including bleeding gums and eventually even losing teeth.
8 Shrinking – Shrinking is a sign that you already have osteoporosis and could start at any age. It could lead to compression fractures.
9 Weight – Several studies have linked higher calcium intakes to lower body weight or less weight gain over time.
10 Osgood Schlatter Disease – A very common cause of knee pain in young adolescents.
Even a small increase in calcium levels in the diet or by supplementing could prevent such diseases or help alleviate certain symptoms. If you are experiences cramps, eyelid twitching, muscle spasms, insomnia and the like, chances are you are already calcium deficient.
One simple way of getting your daily dose of calcium is by a supplement called OsteoCal but this needs to be taken with other co factors to help the body absorb the calcium. You can find these co factors and calcium in this one handy healthy body bone and joint pack.
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