Why do we need calcium?
For your body to create and maintain healthy bones, calcium is necessary. Your bones and teeth contain about 98% of the calcium in your body.
It is utilised by the circulation to transmit nerve messages, release hormones such as insulin, and control the dilation and contraction of blood vessels and muscles.
Because calcium is so vital, your body will remove it from your teeth and skeleton to utilise elsewhere, weakening your bones, if you don’t obtain the required amount from your food.
What is the daily required amount of calcium?
The Institute of Medicine’s most recent guidelines are listed below, broken down by age:
Women 50 years of age and under 1000 mg every day
Men under the age of 70: 1,000 mg daily
Women over 50: 1,200 mg daily
Men above 70 years old: 1,200 mg daily
There are also suggested upper limits on the amount of calcium consumed. For persons under 50, the daily cap is 2,500 mg, whereas for those over 50, it is 2,000 mg.
You can consume a diet that provides enough of them. Dairy products, some leafy greens, nuts, legumes, and tofu are among the foods high in calcium.
Those who don’t consume enough foods high in calcium, however, may want to think about taking supplements.
Who should take calcium supplements?
Your body will pull calcium out of your bones if you don’t have enough of it, which will make them fragile and feeble. Osteoporosis may occur from this.
Given that women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, particularly after menopause, many doctors recommend calcium supplements for women. It follows that elderly women are far more likely to take supplements containing calcium.
Supplements can assist in making up for whatever amounts that your diet may not be able to provide. Supplementing with calcium may also be an option if you:
- eat just vegan food
- consume a diet heavy in salt or protein, which might lead to your body excreting more calcium.
- own a medical condition that prevents your body from absorbing calcium, like An inflammatory bowel condition, such as Crohn’s disease
- possess a prior history of stomach bypass surgery
- have been receiving long-term corticosteroid treatment
- Having osteoporosis.
Food sources of calcium
Nutrients should ideally be obtained from diet rather than supplements.
However, if you believe that your diet is lacking in calcium, think about consuming more of the following foods:
- dairy products, such as yoghurt, cheese, and milk
- tinned seafood that has bones, such as sardines or salmon
- certain leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and collard greens
- soybeans and tofu
- lentils and beans
- Fortified meals and beverages
Calcium is not produced by your body
You must rely on your food to receive the necessary amounts of calcium because your body is unable to create it. Among the foods high in calcium are:
- dairy items, including yoghurt, cheese, and milk
- dark green veggies like broccoli, spinach, and kale
- pearl beans
- sea bass
- orange juices, breads, cereals, and soy products with added calcium
To absorb calcium, you must have vitamin D
Calcium absorption requires vitamin D in your body. That means if you’re deficient in vitamin D, you won’t get the full benefits of a diet high in calcium.
Certain foods, including salmon, egg yolks, and certain mushrooms, can provide you with vitamin D. Certain dietary items include vitamin D in addition to calcium. For instance, vitamin D is frequently added to milk.
The best source of vitamin D is sunshine. When exposed to sunlight, vitamin D is naturally produced by your skin. Because darker skin tones don’t generate as much vitamin D, it may be important to take supplements in order to prevent insufficiency.
For women, calcium is much more crucial
Numerous research indicates that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms may be lessened by calcium. According to research, women who experience PMS have lower blood levels and lower calcium and magnesium intake.
Other health problems might result from low calcium levels.
Other health problems might result from a calcium deficiency. Adults who consume insufficient calcium run the risk of developing osteoporosis, which is characterised by porous, fragile bones that are prone to breaking.
Because osteoporosis is more frequent in elderly women, the NIH advises that women eat more calcium than men do.
Children require calcium for healthy growth and development. Youngsters who don’t receive enough calcium may not reach their maximum height or may experience various health problems.
Having too much calcium might be harmful
It’s critical to obtain the proper amount of any mineral or vitamin. Excessive calcium might have unfavourable effects.
Constipation, gas, and bloating are a few symptoms that might mean you’re taking too much calcium.
Kidney stones may also become more likely if you take too much calcium. Rarely, blood calcium deposits can result from excessive calcium intake. We refer to this as hypercalcemia.
While some physicians disagree, others believe that taking calcium supplements may raise your chance of developing heart disease. To date, additional study is required to determine the effects of calcium supplementation on heart health.