Why is Calcium important?
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, 99% of it being stored in the bones and teeth. As you may guess therefore, Calcium is especially important for higher bone mineral density. Higher bone mineral density means stronger bones. (Additional way to increase your bone mineral density we recommend checking out this article about Magnesium.)
Calcium is also required for other processes such as keeping a normal heart beat.
What can Calcium deficiency cause?
Low Calcium intake does not cause obvious symptoms in the short turn. However, low Calcium intake in the long term means lower bone mineral density which can in turn lead to osteoporosis. Symptoms of serious Calcium deficiency are numbness and tingling in the fingers, and abnormal heart rhythms. This must be corrected immediately, because if left untreated, it can even lead to death.
What foods contain Calcium?
Natural, most abundant, and as well the most popular foods containing Calcium are, of course, dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. There are also some other Calcium-rich foods such as sardines and salmon. Few fortified foods containing Calcium are soy milk and orange juice. Keep in mind that your body can not absorb any Calcium without Vitamin D, so make sure to get your Vitamin D levels checked.
Is supplementing with Calcium necessary?
If you consume dairy products, you probably do not need an additional Calcium supplement. However, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, additional dietary supplement might be required even if you do consume dairy products. This is because infants need Calcium to grow, and if mother’s Calcium intake is not adequate, infant will use the available Calcium from mother’s teeth and bones. This is exactly why some pregnant women’s teeth break down durning the pregnancy, which could easily be avoided. Another thing which can lead to Calcium deficiency is consuming a lot of coffee, especially if you add no milk or cream (sources of Calcium). That is because coffee moves out Calcium from our bodies. Don’t get us wrong, coffee has a lot of health benefits, you just need to be extra conscious about your Calcium intake.
Note: More than often people have low levels of Vitamin D rather than low intake/levels of Calcium. Having low levels of Vitamin D is as big problem as having low levels of Calcium, because Calcium can not be absorbed without Vitamin D anyway. If you suspect that you have a Calcium deficiency, make sure to get your Vitamin D levels checked too. Additional Calcium supplement will do more harm than good if Vitamin D deficiency is present in the body.
I recommend this Calcium, because it comes with Vitamin D which most people lack anyway:
Last updated by Health And Muscles on January 6, 2017.