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Benefits of Calcium And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 05, 2024

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Calcium is the most important mineral in our body. Our bones and teeth are made of calcium and thus form the most abundant mineral available in our body. So, it is very important to have sufficient calcium intake daily in order to suffice our entire daily body requirement. Our bone stores huge amounts of calcium that is given off in the bloodstream when needed. Calcium deficiency can lead to various health problems, such as osteoporosis, tooth decay, muscle tension and high blood pressure.

Calcium

Calcium is a type of mineral which plays a vital role in our body. Calcium ions can combine with many organic compounds, such as proteins to form stable coordination complexes. This type of reaction occurs in our body which helps our body to carry out muscular, digestive and circulatory functions. Calcium can also activate enzymes to perform various functions in our body. Calcium helps in the bone manufacture and in preventing various bone-related diseases.

Nutritional Value of Calcium

Calcium requirement by our body depends on age. Children between ages of 0 to 6 months require about 200 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. 7 months to 1 year old children need about 260 mg of calcium on a daily basis. When a child grows between ages 1 -3 years his calcium requirements increase because of his bone growth. He/she needs 700 mg of calcium daily. Their calcium requirement is maximized when they are teenagers. He requires 1300 mg of calcium daily when they reach the age of 12 -18 years. When they reach adulthood, their body requirements remain fixed near about 1000 mg of calcium daily.

Health Benefits of Calcium

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Calcium

Bone health

Calcium is a dire necessity for teenagers to achieve their peak bone mass at an age when their bones are solidifying. The peak bone mass helps in delaying osteoporosis or loss of bone mass at a later age. Osteoporosis is the main disease which is suffered by many elderly people around world. Calcium also helps protect our bones if you do weight-bearing exercises. Cheese is a by-product of milk which is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium (in the form of cheese) is readily absorbed by our body rather than other sources. Parmesan cheese has the highest amount of calcium which is 330 mg per ounce. Soft cheese has less amount of calcium. Cheese is also full of proteins which help in boosting our bone health

Cancer prevention

There is a decrease in the risk of colon and rectal cancers; if you consume calcium-rich foods. Calcium-rich foods like dairy products help in the prevention of bladder cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer as well. However, it is always advised in cancer to not take calcium supplements as these supplements do not prevent cancer and are also found linked with heart attacks

Weight management

Many studies believe that calcium can help lower the body weight as it has the ability to bind fat in the digestive system. Beans and lentils are rich in fiber, proteins and other nutrients that are healthy for the brain. They are really good for health and help in lowering down cholesterol levels. A single cup of cooked beans has about 240 mg of calcium

Decrease risk of diabetes

It helps in lowering down type -2 diabetes. It helps in lowering the sugar levels in the body by combining with sugar and making it less soluble in the bloodstream. Thus, it helps insulin hormones to work less in dissolving body sugar. Proteins are good for the health and are a good source of calcium. It is usually found in milk and its byproducts. It helps in lowering down body weight and helps in maintaining sugar levels

It boosts fertility

Studies suggest that calcium helps restore normal menstruation. It helps women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome by improving their egg health. In case of a male, it is found that calcium gives more energy to sperms to penetrate them in the egg. Thus, calcium helps in boosting fertility in both men and women. An egg is the richest source of calcium which is usually consumed during breakfast. It is also rich in protein and helps in boosting fertility in men and women

Heart health

Calcium helps veins and arteries to relax and also helps cut down cholesterol levels. This further helps patients with high blood pressure to reduce their blood pressure. A calcium-rich diet has proven to improve blood pressure and thereby making the heart healthy. Sardines and canned salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also filled with calcium. They are good for heart, brain, and skin. They are also rich in protein and vitamin E. Almonds contains the highest level of calcium in the nuts category. They are an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium. They are good for the brain, heart and prevent various diseases related to cholesterol. It helps in lowering down blood pressure and also helps in maintaining proper body weight.

Protect gums

Calcium helps in keeping your mouth healthy by preventing the occurrence of gum-related diseases. It helps in invading the teeth bacteria and thus protects our teeth and gums. It also helps in increasing the enamel in our teeth

Treats hypocalcemia

It is a disease which occurs due to deficiency of calcium which can be treated with the help of calcium supplements

Treats hyperkalemia

It is a disease which occurs due to the presence of excessive potassium in the bloodstream. It can be treated with the help of calcium. Calcium interferes with the potassium and helps in lowering down the levels of potassium in the bodu

Prevent teeth against diseases

Calcium helps the teeth to become strong. It also fights bacteria which deteriorates the strength of the teeth. Thus, it prevents several diseases which can loosen the enamel of the teeth

Prevent indigestion

Calcium helps in fighting indigestion by binding with proteins and other complex compounds. This helps in slowing down the solubility of these compounds which further promotes digestion

Prevent osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a very harmful disease which leads to bone weakening. It also leads to the breakdown of bones in elderly persons. In order to stay away from this disease, we have to keep checking our calcium intake from our teenage years

Uses of Calcium

Calcium is used to improve our bone strength and it is very useful in treating indigestion. Giving supplements of calcium can reverse hyperkalemia which is a condition where blood contains too much of potassium in the bloodstream. Low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia) can be treated by giving calcium supplements. Calcium also helps in maintaining a healthy body weight and lowers down the risk of various diseases, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, enamel weakness and cancer etc.

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Side-Effects & Allergies of Calcium

Calcium is safe for almost everyone. However, high dosages of calcium usually in the supplement form may cause serious problems. Calcium intake depends on age. It is usually recommended that you should take calcium from natural sources rather than going for supplements. Calcium in high amounts may lead to heart attack. Usually, a pregnant woman is prescribed calcium supplements. It is usually safe taking calcium during pregnancy. People who have low acid levels in their stomach are able to absorb less calcium. It is usually advised to consume citrus fruits in larger quantity when you are partaking calcium tablets. You should not take calcium supplements without your health provider’s supervision. Sometimes, a calcium and phosphate balance is deteriorated due to excess calcium intake. This may cause severe harm to the body. If you have a thyroid problem then you should not take thyroid medicine along with any calcium medicine. Calcium and thyroid medicine can conflict with each other. If you are taking iron tablets, then to you must keep the gap between iron tablets and calcium tablet, as calcium tablets interfere with the absorption of iron in the body.

Origin And Cultivation of Calcium

Calcium is safe for almost everyone. However, high dosages of calcium usually in the supplement form may cause serious problems. Calcium intake depends on age. It is usually recommended that you should take calcium from natural sources rather than going for supplements. Calcium in high amounts may lead to heart attack. Usually, a pregnant woman is prescribed calcium supplements. It is usually safe taking calcium during pregnancy. People who have low acid levels in their stomach are able to absorb less calcium. It is usually advised to consume citrus fruits in larger quantity when you are partaking calcium tablets. You should not take calcium supplements without your health provider’s supervision. Sometimes, a calcium and phosphate balance is deteriorated due to excess calcium intake. This may cause severe harm to the body. If you have a thyroid problem then you should not take thyroid medicine along with any calcium medicine. Calcium and thyroid medicine can conflict with each other. If you are taking iron tablets, then to you must keep the gap between iron tablets and calcium tablet, as calcium tablets interfere with the absorption of iron in the body.

References

  • Power ML, Heaney RP, Kalkwarf HJ, Pitkin RM, Repke JT, Tsang RC, Schulkin J. The role of calcium in health and disease. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 1999 Dec 1;181(6):1560-9. [Cited 26 June 2019]. Available from:
  • Cashman K. Prebiotics and Calcium. Probiotics and Prebiotics: Where are We Going?. 2002:149. [Cited 26 June 2019]. Available from:
  • Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Navia Lombán B, López-Sobaler AM. Review and future perspectives on recommended calcium intake. Nutricion hospitalaria. 2010;25(3). [Cited 26 June 2019].

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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist
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