We all know that calcium is needed to strong our bones but do you know the other benefits and importance of calcium. Well, don’t worry I am here to let you go through all about it.
We need to see this with some serious concern as we all know that in today’s world, foods are so much adulterated. Even if it is not adulterated, because of poor diet habit we wouldn’t get enough important nutrition including calcium.
It might be interesting for you to know that your whole body is dependent on calcium channels. Yes, there are many types of calcium channels which regulates voltage and influx in neurons.
Many of dangerous diseases like epilepsy and hypertension are treated by the drugs which acts on calcium channels, mostly these are calcium channel blockers.
In this article, you will come to know, detail information about Calcium and its need to our body.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is one of the important macro nutrients that is necessary for various body functions.
Functions of Calcium:
- Building of bones and teeth and keep them healthy
- Calcium helps in blood clotting process to form blood clot
- Calcium enables muscle to contract including heart muscle to regulate heart beat
- Certain enzymes are activated with the help of calcium by cells
- Plays an important role as an electrolyte
- Calcium channels are important to convey signals between neurons
- Many diseases are treated by acting on calcium channel
Our body use approximately 99 percent of Calcium present in our body but absorption of calcium can not be done without Vitamin D.
So, it’s important to have both nutrients to work together.
When we take diet low in calcium, it can cause releasing of the PTH (Parathyroid) Hormone. PTH breaks down the bone tissue to balance the decreased levels of calcium in the blood. Diet lacks in calcium for longer period of time, there may be a higher risk for Osteoporosis.
Reasons for Hypocalcaemia:
Hypocalcaemia represent level of calcium is lower than normal limit in the body. Below are the main reasons of it-
- Taking medication which decreases calcium absorption
- Hypocalcaemia occur because of hormonal changes (basically in women)
- Long term diet which exclude or contains minimum amount of Calcium
- Person may intolerant to Calcium rich food can be a reason for hypocalcaemia
- Most important vitamin to absorb Calcium is vitamin D, so less Vitamin D intake will allow low level absorption of calcium
- Even Calcium absorption level decreases with age
“Gluten sensitivity, Drugs, Lack of sunshine/Vitamin D and more Sugar intake are few of the important reasons leads to calcium deficiency.”
Signs of Calcium Deficiency:
- Cramps in leg: Deficiency of calcium can cause nerve endings to spasm, hence night cramps occurs in legs.
- Chit chit sounds in joints: While doing any movement you may heard chit chit like sounds from your joints of fingers, elbows, neck, shoulders etc
- Numbness: Numbness in the feet and hands because of spastic nerve endings.
- Cavities: More than usual cavities in teeth is another sign of calcium deficiency. Because of low calcium diet body, body seeks for calcium and can take it from teeth.
- Peeling nails: Peeling of nails is one of the indication that you may not take enough amount of calcium.
- Sleeping difficulty: Calcium produces Melatonin (Sleeping hormone). Low calcium level leads to deficiency of melatonin.
- Humped body posture: because of calcium deficiency body adopt stooping posture with back pain and neck pain.
- Memory loss: Severe symptoms of calcium deficiency
- Seizures: Calcium is important for muscle contractions. Lack of Calcium may cause seizures.
Natural treatment for calcium deficiency:
1) Intake of calcium rich foods like
Vegetables- Spinach, Broccoli, Green snap beans and Sesame seeds
Nuts- Dates, Oranges, Dried Figs, Blackberries, Mulberries and Almonds
Dairy- Milk, cheese, Yogurt
2) Intake of Vitamin D
Normally, Vit D is required 600 to 5000 IU per day per person. It can be achieved from-
Non veg Foods- Fish like Salmon, Cod liver oil, Oysters, whole egg
Veg foods- Mushrooms, Vit D fortified milk and cereals
Other sources- Sun exposure for 30 minutes to 1 hours in a day depends upon time, skin and exposure.
Requirement of Calcium-
|0-6 months*||200 mg||200 mg|
|7-12 months*||260 mg||260 mg|
|1-3 years||700 mg||700 mg|
|4-8 Years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|9-13 Years||1,300 mg||1,300 mg|
|14-18 Years||1,300 mg||1,300 mg||1,300 mg||1,300 mg|
|19-50 Years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|51-70 Years||1,000 mg||1,200 mg|
|71+ Years||1,200 mg||1,200 mg|
Courtesy: National Institutes of Health
Major concern in women:
After menopause, production of estrogen hormone in women get decreases and because of that women are less able to retain calcium from dietary supplements.
In earlier age of life, women need to increase their calcium intake. During middle age, it is necessary to take calcium rich diet to prevent from osteopenia and/or osteoporosis.
There are chances to reduce calcium level in vegans as they do not use Milk and other dairy products.
Young generation, who are aware about this, should help to their family by sharing this information. It will definitely help to reduce Hypocalcaemia.
Welcome for your suggestion, If any!