Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Ninety-nine percent of all calcium in your body is in the bones and teeth. The body uses the calcium in the bones when it needs calcium to circulate in the extracellular and intracellular fluids. Many of the calcium's actions help maintain blood pressure. Calcium is vital to life. Calcium also contributes to blood clotting and may be important to relieve hypertension.
Calcium may also help us in maintaining a healthy body weight. Small clinical studies and analysis of national survey data seem to indicate that the more the calcium intake the less the body fat. Take note though, it seems that calcium from dairy foods influence the fat and not calcium from supplements. Calcium intake may help prevent excessive fat accumulation by stimulating hormonal action that targets the breakdown of stored fat. Not all research supports that calcium is involved with body weight.
Vitamin D is important in the absorption process of calcium. Vitamin D helps to make the calcium-binding protein needed for absorption.
Children who do not drink milk may not get their calcium needs met for their future bone health unless they get calcium from other foods like mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, kale, parsley, watercress, and broccoli.
Adults begin losing bone somewhere between the ages of 30 and 40. Osteoporosis affects more than 44 million people in the U.S. It is impossible to know if one has osteoporosis with blood tests. Blood calcium remains normal. It is recommended that children through the age of 20 get plenty of calcium to avoid osteoporosis in their adult years.
Too much calcium in the body can cause kidney stones.
Dietary calcium supplements
Calcium supplements are used to prevent and to treat calcium deficiencies. Most experts recommend that supplements be taken with food and that no more than 600 mg should be taken at a time because the percent of calcium absorbed decreases as the amount of calcium in the supplement increases. It is recommended to spread doses throughout the day. Recommended daily calcium intake for adults ranges from 1000 to 1500 mg. It is recommended to take supplements with food to aid in absorption.
A recent study of 24,000 people showed an increase of heart attacks to up to 85 percent in those taking calcium supplements.
The same study also found that people who consume a moderate amount of calcium in their diet—820 mg daily—had a 31 percent lower risk of heart attacks than those who consumed the least calcium.
At the same time some doctors are weary of the study and still advise patients at risk of bone issues to take supplements.
When in doubt ask your doctor, but for the average healthy person the
advice seems to be get your vitamins and minerals from your diet
Books on Calcium for further research.
Articles and News Stories
Get the facts on calcium. A recent study shows an increase in heart attacks for those taking calcium supplements. The same study also found that people who consume a moderate amount of calcium in their diet—820 mg daily—had a 31 percent lower risk of heart attacks than those who consumed the least calcium.
Osteoporosis facts and
prevention for women and men