Essential Calcium: Nurturing Bones and Body Functions
by Namita Satheesh on Sep 04, 2023
Introduction to Calcium
Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in numerous functions within the body. It is best known for its importance in maintaining strong and healthy bones, but its significance extends beyond skeletal health.
Daily Requirement for a Man: The daily requirement for men varies depending on age. In general, adult men aged 19-50 need about 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. For men aged 51 and above, the recommended intake increases to 1,200 mg per day.
Daily Requirement for a Woman: Similar to men, the daily requirement for women is influenced by age. Women aged 19-50 should aim for 1,000 mg daily. Women aged 51 and older are recommended to increase their intake to 1,200 mg per day.
Functions in the Body:
Calcium is not only responsible for building and maintaining strong bones, but it also serves various other functions. It is involved in muscle contraction, including the heartbeat, and plays a crucial role in nerve transmission. It is essential for blood clotting, which helps prevent excessive bleeding. Additionally, this mineral aids in maintaining normal blood pressure levels and supports the function of enzymes and hormones.
Foods for Bones: Including calcium-rich foods in your diet is an excellent way to support bone health. Some notable sources of this mineral include dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other options include leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach. Additionally, fortified foods like cereals, juices, and tofu can provide a good amount of it.
Calcium Deficiency Symptoms: Insufficient calcium levels can lead to various symptoms. Common signs of deficiency include muscle cramps, brittle nails, tooth decay, and a higher risk of fractures. In severe cases, individuals may experience osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and fragile bones.
Is Vitamin D3 Important with Calcium?
Vitamin D3 is crucial for its absorption and utilization in the body. It helps the intestines absorb calcium from the food we consume and aids in its incorporation into bones. Therefore, ensuring an adequate vitamin D3 level is essential for optimizing its absorption and maintaining bone health.
Do We Need Calcium Tablets?
Tablets can be beneficial for individuals who struggle to meet their daily requirements through diet alone. They can serve as a convenient supplement to ensure an adequate intake. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation to determine if it is necessary for your specific needs.
Is Milk a Source of Calcium?
Yes, milk is an excellent source of calcium. It provides a readily absorbable form of this mineral, making it ideal for fulfilling your daily needs. However, numerous alternative sources are available for individuals who are lactose intolerant or follow a plant-based diet.
How Can I Increase Calcium Intake?
Focus on consuming calcium-rich foods regularly. Incorporate dairy products like leafy greens, fortified foods, and calcium-rich fish into your diet. Additionally, consider taking vitamin D3 supplements or spending time in the sun to promote vitamin D synthesis, which enhances its absorption. Remember to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
It is a vital mineral involved in various functions within the body, with its primary role being the maintenance of strong bones. By incorporating calcium-rich foods into your diet and ensuring adequate vitamin D3 levels, you can support your overall health and reduce the risk of calcium deficiency-related complications. Remember, it's always important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance regarding your intake and supplementation.