You sure do. In fact, calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. The average adult has between 1,000 to 1,300 grams of it that's almost 3 pounds! The teeth and bones contain about 99 percent of that total, with the small amount left over found in blood and cells.
Calcium is everywhere, even outside our bodies. It comprises approximately 3 percent of the earth's crust, and it is a basic component of virtually all plants and animals.
It's no secret what calcium does for us because we heard it as children it helps build the hard structure that makes bones and teeth strong. But that's not all it does. Calcium is also important to blood clotting, muscle contraction, and the transmission of signals by nerve cells. It is vital to our heart, nerves, and muscles.
In fact, the level of calcium is so vital to survival that the human body will demineralize bone literally begin to eat itself if calcium levels fall too low.
Calcium is absorbed into the body through the small intestine in a process controlled by two main factors: the amount of Vitamin D available to aid the process, and the level of calcium already in the body. Calcium helps to maintain the health of other vital systems in the body, including the heart, muscles and nerves and helps promote healthy blood.
Calcium provides the building blocks for strong teeth and bones
- Calcium promotes bone strength.
- Because the body cannot produce calcium, a balanced diet, regular exercise, healthy lifestyle choices and adequate intake of calcium and Vitamin D can play a role in maintaining bone health.
- Adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- More than 99 percent of the body's calcium can be found in the bone, but the body also uses calcium for other purposes, and the bones are the body's major source.
- Building strong bones, especially before the age of 30, can be the best way to support bone health later in life. Getting your daily recommended amounts of calcium and Vitamin D can help you do this.
- Many women and young girls consume less than half the amount of calcium recommended to help them grow and maintain healthy bones.
- Some scientific studies indicate that calcium may support healthy cell growth in the colon.
- Calcium is involved with heartbeat regulation.
- Calcium plays a role in proper muscle contraction.
- The body uses calcium for proper muscle contraction and nerve function, and obtains this calcium from the bones or from dietary intake.
- Calcium contributes to a healthy nervous system.
- Calcium supplements have been found to help relieve symptoms due to PMS such as water retention, back or abdominal pain, and negative mood.
- Calcium is essential to help build and maintain healthy bones and strong teeth. The bones which also serve as a storage depot for the calcium supply are continuously feeding calcium to the bloodstream, then replacing it in the bones. A healthy person experiences a constant turnover of calcium as bone tissue is built and reshaped. When calcium intake is low (or not being well absorbed), bone breakdown occurs because the body raids its storehouse for the calcium necessary to operate nerves and muscles.
- An analysis of the results from 33 separate studies was conducted to determine the effects of calcium on bone health. The combined results revealed that supplementing with 1 gram of calcium per day could have a major positive impact on helping maintain bone health in women.
- A continual blood calcium level is essential for maintaining a normal heartbeat, and for the proper functioning of nerves, organs, and muscles.
- Calcium is essential for muscle contractions, membrane integrity, signal transduction, enzyme function, blood coagulation, and the integrity of cell membranes.
- Calcium carbonate supplementation may help provide nutritional support for premenstrual syndrome.
- Calcium is necessary for proteins and enzymes to function at their optimal level.
- Slows the loss of teeth in older people
- Facilitates the passage of nutrients through cell walls
Rich sources of calcium include:
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