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Importance Of Calcium In Building Bones

MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DNB - Orthopedics & Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedist, Hyderabad  •  30 years experience
Importance Of Calcium In Building Bones

Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals found in the body. Bones contain 99% of the body’s calcium. Calcium is essential for good bone health. Bones are constantly being broken down and reformed. This process is known as remodeling. Remodeling involves the breaking down of old bone tissues and its replacement with new bone tissue. At any given point of time, 5% of the bones in the human body are being remodeled.

Calcium is the most important element for bone remodeling. This is what makes up new bone tissue. Hence, if the body does not get enough calcium, the new tissue replacing the old tissue will be weaker and low in density. This makes the bones prone to fractures. The most active phase of bone remodeling is up to the age of 20. This is when bones are being shaped. A deficiency of calcium at this stage can lead to skeletal deformities such as rickets and bow legs. Bones reach their peak density between the ages of 12 to 30. After the age of 40, the rate at which old bone tissue is reabsorbed becomes higher than the rate at which new tissue is created. Thus, calcium is necessary at every stage.

Calcium also helps prevent orthopaedic conditions such as osteoporosis. This is because it builds new bone tissue that is strong and thus maintains the bone density. If left unchecked, osteoporosis can lead to frequent fractures, bone deformities, and chronic joint pain. Older women are most susceptible to this condition because of the hormonal changes that occur after menopause.

Calcium is available in a number of food items. Milk is one of the most important sources of calcium. Vitamin D should be taken along with calcium to ensure that the body can absorb the calcium. Some of the other common sources of calcium include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, some types of fish, peas, beans and almonds. Eggs are also a rich source of calcium and vitamin D. In addition, children and adults over the age of 40 should also take calcium supplements. Women typically need a higher supplement dosage as compared to men of the same age. However, it is important not to consume more than 2000mg of calcium per day as this could be harmful to the health of the kidneys. In addition to having a diet rich in calcium, one must also exercise regularly to maintain bone health and drink plenty of water.

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