January 30, 2014

Calcium

Calcium is essential for living organisms, in particular in cell physiology, where movement of the calcium ion Ca2+ into and out of the cytoplasma functions 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.
Rich Sources
  • Dried Herbs – Dried Savoury, Celery Seeds, Dried thyme, Dried Dill, Dried Marjoram and Dried Rosemary
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Almonds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Yoghurt, Milk and Other Dairy products
  • Cheeses, such as parmesan, Romano, gruyere, cheddar, American, mozzarella, and feta
  • Green Leafy Vegetables (Turnip, Mustard and Dandelion Greens)
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Raw Broccoli
  • Grape Leaves (Canned)
  • Chia Seeds (Dried)
  • Lotus Seeds
  • 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
Deficiency
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.
Symptoms
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
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Vegetarians
  • Lactose intolerant - Supplementation is recommended
Overdose
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.

Picture source 

No comments:

Post a Comment