Calcium is essential for living organisms, in particular in cell physiology, where movement of the calcium ion Ca2+ into and out of the cytoplasmafunctions as a signal for many cellular processes. As a major material used in mineralization of bone, teeth and shells, calcium is the most abundant metal by mass in many animals.
Functions of Calcium
Calcium is necessary for the growth and maintenance of strong teeth and bones
It also helps in nerve signalling and secretion of certain hormones and enzymes.
Calcium also helps the heart, nerves, muscles, and other body systems work properly.
Cheeses, such as parmesan, Romano, gruyere, cheddar, American, mozzarella, and feta
Green Leafy Vegetables (Turnip, Mustard and Dandelion Greens)
Grape Leaves (Canned)
Chia Seeds (Dried)
Cooked Mustard Greens
Foods that are fortified with calcium, such as juices, soy milk, rice milk, tofu and cereals
Recommended Daily Intakes
19 - 50 years: 1,000 mg
Women 51 years and older: 1,200 mg
Men 51 - 70 years: 1,000 mg
Men older than 70: 1,200 mg
Pregnant and breastfeeding women 19 years and older: 1,000 mg
This may occur due to less intake of calcium through diet or due decreased absorption of calcium by body. Calcium deficiency may lead to the following conditions:
Osteoporosis – In this condition the bones weaken and become fragile. It is characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This usually occurs due to low intake of dietary calcium.
Hypocalcemia – It is characterized by low levels of calcium in blood. This may result from taking medications.
Getting enough calcium in diet may also help to prevent hypoparathyroidism, premenstrual syndrome, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
A deficiency in calcium depletes bone stores, rendering the bones weak and prone to fracture. The symptoms of calcium deficiency are:
Bowlegs, Pigeon Breast, and Knock-knees of children
Cramp pains in legs
Delay in sitting up, Crawling and Walking of babies
Heart becomes irregular
Nerves become extremely irritable
Poor sleep disorder
Weakness in the bones
Prone to Deficiency
Lactose intolerant - Supplementation is recommended
Too much calcium will affect the body’s absorption of iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus. A person with too much calcium also has to monitor their levels of Vitamin D—which can actually mask calcium toxicity. Excess calcium (particularly from supplements) can lead to kidney stones, calcification of soft tissue, and increased risk of vascular diseases like stroke and heart attack. The DV for calcium is 1000mg.