Calcium: An Essential Mineral for Bone Health

by Melissa Chichester

Did you know that calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body? In 1808, calcium was isolated by Cornish chemist Sir Humphry Davy. We need calcium for many functions, including muscle function, nerve transmission, and bone health.**

Most of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth – 99% according to the National Institutes of Health! Calcium is also one of the most popular supplements on the market, a hint as to its importance in the body.

Calcium absorption

One of the biggest challenges of receiving calcium in the body is absorption. When calcium is not absorbed properly, the bones are forced to rely on reserves, which leads to weaker bones.

Vitamin D is essential to helping calcium properly absorb in the body.**

Unfortunately, many populations are deficient in Vitamin D. That is why so many supplements are made with calcium and Vitamin D together. Magnesium is also necessary for calcium absorption.

Calcium in food

The most abundant contributors of calcium through food are milk, yogurt, and cheese products. Non-dairy sources include leafy green vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli, and kale. Spinach also has some calcium. Fortified grains contain calcium in addition to other fortified foods, such as orange juice and tofu.

Calcium supplements

Calcium supplements are a great way to bridge the gap between dietary calcium and recommended daily intake.

The body does not produce calcium, so if you are not getting enough through your diet, supplements are an option.
The current recommendations according to the National Institutes of Health are as follows:

Men Daily RDA

  • 19-50 years 1,000 mg
  • 51-70 years 1,000 mg
  • 71 and older 1,200 mg

Women Daily RDA

  • 19-50 years 1,000 mg
  • 51 and older 1,200 mg

There are many forms of calcium supplements on the market today, including capsules, gummies, chewable calcium, and liquid calcium. If you are considering taking a calcium supplement, you should discuss it with your personal physician, especially if you are taking other medications.

>>Learn more about mighty magnesium and three types of magnesium!

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