Calcium represents an essential nutrient that all organisms need, including humans. It is the most abundant mineral found in the human body. It is no strange fact that calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth even though it also contributes significantly to blood clotting, as it ensures that muscles can contract while promoting nerve functions.
Approximately 99% of the calcium in the body is stored in bones while the rest is present in muscle, blood, and other tissues. To ensure that the body can perform its crucial routine functions, there must be a certain balance in the amount of calcium in the blood. A significant drop in the level of calcium in the bloodstream will cause the parathyroid hormone to trigger the bones to release more calcium into the bloodstream.
This hormone can also trigger the production of vitamin D, which can improve how the intestines absorb calcium. The parathyroid hormone can also signal the kidney to reduce the amount of calcium that leaves the body through urine.
Excess calcium in the body can also trigger calcitonin to lower the calcium levels in the body by telling the kidney to remove excess calcium through urine. It can also inhibit the release of calcium by the bones.
Furthermore, calcium modulates the intake of fluid in the colon. The wrong amount of calcium in the body can cause digestive issues. There are various reviews on the dietary supplements that can tackle these issues, including colon broom reviews. Yet, by consuming the right amount of calcium, you can maintain normal water and salt homeostasis.
In what ways can we get calcium?
There are two different ways through which the body can get essential calcium.
Eating calcium-rich foods
The first way is to consume diets that are rich in calcium. You can get calcium from:
- fortified dairy alternatives, such as soy milk
- sardines and salmon
- green leafy vegetables
- many fortified breakfast cereals
- nuts and seeds, especially almonds, sesame, and chia
- cornmeal and corn tortillas
- legumes and grains
While it can be tempting to consume saturated fats and other processed foods, they can cause chronic health diseases. The consumption of these foods will also add to the calorie content of the body.
However, by consuming calcium-rich foods, as mentioned above, you are supplying your body with essential nutrients that can allow the body to carry out its functions.
Making use of the calcium in the body
Another way the body can obtain calcium is by drawing from the calcium that is already present in the body. Anytime there is an insufficient amount of calcium in the body, or one is not consuming enough calcium-rich foods, calcium is removed from the bones.
Ideally, the removal of calcium from the bones is only temporary and will be replaced after some time. However, in reality, this does not happen at all times. That is, eating more calcium-rich foods will not just replace the lost calcium from the bones.
How much does the body need?
The amount of calcium the body needs varies among people of different ages:
- 0–6 months: 200 milligrams (mg)
- 7–12 months: 260 mg
- 1–3 years: 700 mg
- 4–8 years: 1,000 mg
- 9–18 years: 1,300 mg
- 19–50 years: 1,000 mg
- 51–70 years: 1,000 mg for males and 1,200 mg for females
- 71 years and above: 1,200 mg
For breastfeeding and pregnant women, taking about 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg of calcium is sufficient, depending on age.
When calcium is deficient in the body, several health issues arise. On the other hand, the body can benefit from the presence of the right amount of calcium. This is why doctors suggest consuming diets that are rich in calcium to promote routine body functions.