Calcium is a mineral that is most commonly associated with bone health. Calcium from food is absorbed in the small intestine. Calcium absorption depends on the presence of vitamin D. Insufficient levels of the vitamin lead to reduced calcium absorption.
It is the macronutrient that is contained in the largest amount in the body, making up about 2% of our total weight. Not surprisingly, it plays an important role in maintaining basic functions in the body.
Calcium functions .
One of the main roles of calcium in the body is to build the structure of bones and teeth. About 99% of calcium in the body is found in the form of calcium apatite crystals. Calcium apatite and collagen provide bone characteristics - strength and elasticity needed to perform a variety of body movements.
The remaining 1% of calcium is found in soft tissues. Calcium is alkaline in nature. It plays a critical role in maintaining the acid-base balance in the body. It is involved in the conduction of nerve impulses. And also in muscle contraction.
There is evidence that diets aimed at losing weight are more effective if you eat foods rich in calcium. This type of diet has better results than a diet that reduces only energy intake.
How much calcium should we consume?
Calcium needs are highly dependent on age and gender. In healthy adults between 19 and 50 years of age, the required daily dose is about 1000 mg. In older individuals, the daily dose is increased to 1200 mg. The maximum amount of calcium that can be taken in 1 day should not exceed 2500 mg.
Dietary sources of calcium .
Dairy products are among the richest sources of calcium. Yogurt, milk, cheese, yellow cheese are delicious foods, a great source of calcium. Green leafy vegetables are also rich in the mineral - cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spinach, etc.
Calcium deficiency .
Low calcium levels are mainly associated with bone disease. But such a deficiency causes problems with teeth, muscles, muscle spasms and convulsions.