Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Calcium Benefits for Heart and Muscle: Calcium Facts and Calcium Supplements

Calcium has far reaching benefits – preventing and minimizing osteoporosis, lowering blood pressure and preventing colon cancer. A wide selection of calcium supplements is available, the commonest are, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, calcium citrate, calcium gluconate, and calcium lactate. Foods with calcium, such as, dairy products and fish must be integrated in to your everyday diet to meet the daily requirement of the mineral. Only a sufficient daily calcium intake will help sustain healthy levels of the mineral in the blood and provide a generous reserve for the bones.

What is Calcium?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body; it is stored up in teeth and bones. A small amount of calcium circulates in the blood stream and facilitates the movement of nutrients across cell membranes. It has a role to play in the manufacture of enzymes and hormones that control metabolism. Calcium is necessary for blood clotting, muscle contraction, wound healing and communication among nerve cells.

Calcium for Healthy Teeth
Benefits of Calcium: Calcium Benefits

Calcium provides the following essential health benefits: 

  • Eases heartburn

  • Calcium Rich Foods: Calcium Requirements, How Much Calcium Do You Need?

    Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, fish, broccoli and almonds are excellent sources of the mineral. 
    In fact, yogurt, being predigested is the best dairy source of bio-available calcium. 

    Although calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, most adults get half of what they need each day. Eating adequate amounts of calcium rich foods may be difficult, but you can prevent deficiency by taking a supplement.
    The daily requirement for calcium for adults is 800mg per day. Women after menopause need 1000mg per day.

    Calcium Deficiency and Calcium Deficiency Symptoms

    The RDI for calcium is 800mg, per day; an intake of lower than this for protracted periods of time will result in a deficiency of the mineral.
    A prolonged insufficiency of calcium can lead to abnormalities in the bone, such as osteoporosis, loss of bones, brittle bones, etc.
    Muscle spasms, delayed blood clotting and tingling numbness are common clinical manifestations of a deficiency. 

    Yogurt is an Excellent Source of Calcium
    Too Much Calcium

    Very high doses of calcium can have adverse effects, especially in case it has been obtained from supplements. An excessive intake may lead to kidney stones and can impair the body’s absorption of iron, magnesium and zinc.
    Hence, you must confer with your health care professional before embarking up on long term calcium supplementation. Let him decide the frequency and dosage of the supplement.

    Calcium Supplements

    There is an extensive range of calcium products available in the market. Calcium is available in tablet, liquid, powder, capsule and soft gel forms. You can choose from calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium gluconate, calcium phosphate and calcium lactate. Avoid supplements that are manufactured from oyster shells, bone meal and dolomite; these compounds may have undesirable levels of lead.
    To enhance the absorption of calcium, split the supplement dose, so that you do not consume more than 600mg of calcium at a time; also make sure that you take the supplement with food.
    Calcium Facts
    1. Calcium needs vitamin D for its absorption, (which is synthesized by the skin in response to sunlight).
    2. Spinach isn’t a good source of the mineral. It is loaded with oxalates which lock up the calcium and restrict the quantity that is accessible to the body. However, these oxalates do not get in the way of calcium absorption from other foods consumed simultaneously.
    3. In order to get 800mg of calcium (RDI) per day, you need to consume 50 florets of broccoli.

    1 comment:

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