Benefits of Calcium

An Overview

Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones and 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function. Do you know calcium is around 1.5 to 2 percent of our actual body weight? Well, we all are familiar with a milk moustache (childhood reminiscence). Milk is often related to calcium which is important for developing strong bones and healthy teeth. But the benefits of calcium is more than just that and plays a vital role in body’s health in many other ways as well. Calcium occurs naturally in many foods and food manufacturers add it to certain products. Supplements are also available.

Alongside calcium, people also need vitamin D, as this vitamin helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D comes from fish oil, fortified dairy products, and exposure to sunlight. Finally, when we get older, our bones tend to get porous and weak, thereby requiring ample calcium intake. With so many fancy diets around us, we often tend to avoid calcium-rich foods like whole food groups, including dairy products. This avoidance often results in its deficiency. Since calcium occupies a large mass between your body materials, the symptoms of its deficiency can cause itching, skin dryness, wrinkling and sometimes, God forbid, even lead to skin cancer.

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

Recognizing the deficiency [1] of calcium in the body is quite easy. It has some very obvious symptoms, including the following:
• Muscles ache and twitch
• Cramps and spasms
• Tingling or numbness. Save Our Bones points out that the spastic nerve endings causes numbness.
• Palpitations
• Dental problems
• High blood pressure
• Osteoporosis
• Weak or deformed bones.
• Dry skin.
• Loose teeth
• Insomnia
• Premenstrual cramps
• Hypertension
• Arthritis

Benefits of Calcium

  1. Bone health:

Around 99% of the calcium in the human body is in the bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for the development, growth, and maintenance of bone. Calcium is the most vital nutrient for developing strong bones, especially for children and young adults. Calcium absorption and bone development is at its peak till the age of 20, and decreases gradually thereafter. As children grow, calcium contributes to the development of their bones. After a person stops growing, calcium continues to help maintain the bones and slow down bone density loss, which is a natural part of the aging process.

2. Muscle contraction:

Calcium helps regulate muscle contraction. When a nerve stimulates a muscle, the body releases calcium. The calcium helps the proteins in muscle carry out the work of contraction. When the body pumps the calcium out of the muscle, the muscle will relax.

3. Weight Loss:

Calcium efficiently helps in maintaining optimal body weight in both males and females. If there is any deficiency of the mineral in your diet, the body will tend to release parathyroid hormone, which in turn stimulates the bones to release it into your bloodstream. This maintains the balance. On the other side, the parathyroid hormone also stimulates the production of fat and prevents its break down, which can subsequently make you obese.

4. Kidney Stones:

Some say calcium leads to kidney stone, but it is a myth. Research now proves that calcium intake protects against extremely painful kidney stones that damage the lining of the body.

5. Cardiovascular system:

Calcium plays a key role in blood clotting. The process of clotting is complex and has a number of steps. These involve a range of chemicals, including calcium. Calcium’s role in muscle function includes maintaining the action of the heart muscle. Calcium relaxes the smooth muscle that surrounds blood vessels. Various studies have indicated a possible link between high consumption of calcium and lower blood pressure.

6. Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS):

PMS related researches show that low level of calcium and vitamin D can lead to calcium reacting negatively with estrogens and progesterone that trigger PMS. Doctors recommend daily intake of 1000 milligrams of calcium and 1000 to 2000 units of vitamin D in the case of PMS.

7. Blood pressure:

Regular consumption of Calcium through natural source or supplements helps to regulate or lower blood pressure. This is also useful in curing hypertension.

8. Controls Alkaline pH Level:

Junk food, excess sugars and preserved food items contribute to forming acidity in the body, which, according to a report published in BMJ Open journal, could give rise to kidney stones, hypertension and sometimes even cancer. Calcium helps maintain a healthy pH level, thereby improving your vitality and overall health.

9. Cancer:

Antioxidant-rich diet prevents cancer, but research shows the evidence that proper amount of calcium can help in getting rid of colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers. A healthy antioxidant-rich diet has been touted as a preventative of cancer, but research suggests that adequate calcium intake may also ward off colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers. More is not necessarily better, however, as some studies conclude that megadoses of calcium (through supplementation) may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

10. Dental Care:

Calcium protects your teeth by keeping the jaw bone strong and sturdy throughout your life, which in turn ensures tight fitting teeth where bacteria cannot thrive. Thus, before your teeth and gums start giving you any trouble, be sure to maintain a calcium-rich diet. Its intake should be high, especially at young ages, so that children can grow up with strong teeth.

11. Calcium will keep you slim and trim:

Over the past few years, calcium has been getting attention due to its slimming effects on the metabolism. Men’s Health editor-in-chief David Zinczenko says, “It’s about time for dairy to accept a break-out role as a vehicle for weight loss.” Research suggests that calcium may prevent weight gain because it promotes more fat to be burned and less fat to be stored.

12. Heart – healthy:

Though 99 percent of the calcium in the body is in the bones and teeth, the remaining one percent plays a crucial role in other bodily functions, such as nerve transmission and muscular function. The heart is a muscle and both the heart and blood vessels are innervated by the nervous system.

Hope this Symptoms and cure article will be helpful to all. Do not forget to share your valuable suggestions if any.

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