Calcium

What is calcium?
One of the most abundant minerals in the human body, calcium accounts for approximately 1.5% of total body weight. Bones and teeth house 99% of the calcium in the body, while the remaining 1% is distributed in other areas.

What can high-calcium supplements do for you?

  • Maintain healthy, strong bones
  • Support proper functioning of nerves and muscles
  • Help your blood clot

What events can indicate a need for more high-calcium supplements?

  • Frequent bone fractures
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands and feet
  • Bone deformities and growth retardation in children

What factors might contribute to a deficiency of calcium?
Hypochlorhydria, a condition characterized by insufficient secretion of stomach acid, affects many people and is especially common in the elderly. Lack of stomach acid impairs the absorption of calcium and may lead to poor calcium status.
Adequate intake of vitamin D is necessary for the absorption and utilization of calcium. As a result, vitamin D deficiency, or impaired conversion of the inactive to the active form of vitamin D (which takes place in the liver and kidneys), may also lead to a poor calcium status.

Calcium may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:

  • Cataracts
  • Colon cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension and preeclampsia
  • Premenstrual syndrome

What foods provide calcium?
Excellent sources: spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens and collard greens.
Very good sources: blackstrap molasses, Swiss chard, yogurt, kale, mozzarella cheese, cow's milk, and goat's milk, basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves.
Good sources: romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, sesame seeds, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, garlic, tofu, Brussel sprouts, oranges, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, oregano, rosemary, parsley, kombu, and kelp.

Adequate intake levels for calcium (per day). The recommendations are as follows:

  • 0-6 months: 210 mg
  • 6-12 months: 270 mg
  • 1-3 years: 500 mg
  • 4-8 years: 800 mg
  • 9-13 years: 1300 mg
  • 14-18 years: 1300 mg
  • 19-30 years: 1000 mg
  • 31-50 years: 1000 mg
  • 51+ years: 1200 mg
  • Postmenopausal women not taking hormone replacement therapy: 1500 mg
  • Pregnant and lactating women (younger than 18 years): 1300 mg
  • Pregnant and lactating women (older than 18 years): 1000 mg
 
 
 

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