From the day you are born, calcium is necessary for overall health. Almost every cell in the human body uses calcium in some ways. Some areas where the body uses calcium are the nervous system, heart, bones, and muscles. If you want to know more about this vital mineral, the article below will disclose everything.
What is calcium?
To be known as one of the most abundant minerals in the human body, calcium performs many vital roles. It is essential for bone health, muscle and cardiovascular function, and the nervous system. It also works as a coenzyme for metabolic processes in the body. Plus, it is closely connected to the skeletal system because it is necessary for growing and maintaining bone structure.
Almost 99% of calcium is stored within the bones, which is known as a bank for calcium. Meanwhile, 1% of calcium is found outside of the skeletal system.
Our body cannot produce calcium on its own, so we need to consume the additional calcium through eating. And make sure our body gets enough calcium, or it might get calcium from the bones, making you risk developing osteoporosis.
Aside from supporting bone health and preventing weakened bones, calcium intake is necessary for other benefits, including:
- Help control muscle contractions
- Support jawbones and protect your teeth from bacteria
- Help transfer nutrients through blood vessels
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep a healthy blood pressure to support heart health
- Prevent kidney stones
- Lower indigestion
- Balance pH levels
How does calcium affect height growth?
Bones are living tissues in the human body. They are continuously growing, rebuilding, repairing, and replacing.
From birth to about 25 years of age, our body builds more bones, not only in length but also in density. From about 25 to 50 years of age, the bones start breaking down and rebuilding at the same rate. Since the bones are in a state of balance, we have got the “peak bone mass.” But after about 50 years of age, we break down more bones than we rebuild. Although we will experience bone loss, not everyone will develop osteoporosis.
It should be noted that children grow taller because their bones grow longer and bigger. As mentioned above, calcium is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. That is why you need to get enough calcium to keep sufficient levels in the blood or the body takes calcium from the bones. And if calcium is continuously taken from the bones, they will become weaker over time.
How much calcium do you need per day?
How to supplement calcium for height increase?
One of the best ways to obtain recommended calcium intake is to consume calcium-rich foods. But not all people do not get the recommended daily intake. So, you need to know which food groups you should focus on to reach higher levels of calcium.
|Food type||Examples||Calcium range (mg/serving)|
|Dairy||Milk, cheese, yogurt||150 – 305|
|Vegetables||Broccoli, kale, bok choy, lettuce, rhubarb||59 – 250|
|Fruits||Oranges, figs (dried), strawberries, kiwi||16 – 95|
|Nuts and seeds||Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sesame seeds||28 – 75|
|Meat||Chicken, red meat||21 – 105|
|Seafood||Salmon, sardines, trout, prawns, oysters||35 – 300|
|Others||Eggs, seaweed, tofu, canned soybean or chickpeas||21 – 105|
For some cases, doctors might suggest you take a supplement to ensure enough calcium intake per day. 500-600 mg daily is the safe and effective range that you should take. Calcium carbonate or calcium citrate are the most common types you can get. And you can get it in many types, including tablets or powder.
Always ensure that you get the proper dosage as the doctor suggested. Avoid taking too much calcium, or it might lead to an increased risk of colon polyps and kidney stones.
What to consider when supplementing calcium?
Not all the calcium we take is absorbed. Importantly, calcium needs to be combined with certain nutrients and vitamins to improve the absorption of calcium.
Vitamin D is vital for strong bones for reasons. It helps boost calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, control the amount of calcium in the blood, and improve the skeletal system. It also supports muscle function and decreases the risk of falls.
The main and effective source of vitamin D is sunlight. Simply expose your face, hands, and arms to the sun every day. Also, you can find vitamin D in foods like fatty fish, eggs, liver, and fortified foods. If you do not get enough vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and diet, it is necessary to discuss this with your doctor.
How much vitamin D should you take every day?
|0-12 months||10 mcg (400 IU)|
|1-13 years||15 mcg (600 IU)|
|14-18 years||15 mcg (600 IU)|
|19-70 years||15 mcg (600 IU)|
|71+ years||20 mcg (800 IU)|
|Pregnant and breastfeeding teens and women||15 mcg (600 IU)|
Aside from supplementing vitamin D, you should add vitamin K to control calcium and build strong bones in the body effectively. You are able to meet the daily suggestion for vitamin K by simply eating broccoli, dark green lettuce, Brussels sprouts, kale, or collard greens.
This nutrient acts as a building block for replacing and repairing tissue, healing fractures, and supporting immune function. The exact amount of protein you need daily varies, depending on many factors. The Dietary Reference Intake suggests 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For instance, if you are 150 pounds, you should consume about 54 grams of protein daily.
But if you take too much protein with the amount of calcium consumed, calcium might be leached from the bones because extra protein is burned.
What happens if you supplement too much calcium?
Hypercalcemia is the medical term for an extra level of calcium in the bloodstream. The upper limit for calcium is 2,500 mg daily from both foods and supplements. And if you consume too much, especially from supplements, you might get some issues, like kidney stones, constipation, and prostate cancer. In certain people, if high doses of calcium are in blood vessels, it might lead to heart issues.
In a nutshell
Calcium is crucial for keeping the necessary level of bone mass to strengthen the structure of the body. It is suggested to consume enough calcium from dietary sources or consult a medical professional to help you build up and stick to a program of consuming nutritious foods.
So, what do you think? Do you have any questions? We would love to see your comments in the box below.
- Related post: Top 12 Calcium-Rich Foods To Increase Height