Calcium: Role In the Body
Calcium (Ca) - is a macroelement, performing primary function in the body construction. Strong bones and teeth are the merit of calcium in combination with phosphorus. However, only this role of calcium for the body is not the only one.
Calcium is one of the most common in humans macronutrients. It is approximately 2% of total body weight. 99% of the calcium is contained in the bone, tooth enamel and dentin. The rest amount is in the nerves and soft tissues.
Calcium Daily Requirements
Younger children: 400-800 mg.
Adolescent children: 900-1200 mg.
Adults: 1,000 mg.
Seniors: 1200 mg.
Daily need for calcium increases :
- in childhood,
- during pregnancy and breastfeeding,
- with active physical activity (sports),
- with profuse sweating.
Effects of Calcium In the Body
Calcium is the basic building material forming bone and teeth. It is part of the blood, tissue and cell fluids. It takes part in blood clotting and reduces the permeability of the walls of blood vessels, preventing the penetration of cells with malicious viruses and allergens.
Calcium performs the following important functions:
- stimulates the function of some hormones and enzymes,
- stimulates the production of inulin,
- has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effect,
- strengthens the body's defenses,
- affects the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids in the muscles,
- affects the recovery processes in the water balance of the body,
- has the effect of alkalinization in acid-base balance, along with potassium, sodium, magnesium.
Calcium is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses. It has a direct effect on muscle contraction and is necessary to maintain a stable health of the cardiovascular system, regulates the activity of the nervous system.
Calcium has the ability to stock up in the structure of the porous long bones. With insufficient intake of calcium in the body, it, along with phosphorus, is taken from the bone with the help of parathyroid hormone. This testifies to more importance of calcium for blood than the bones.
Digestibility of Calcium
Calcium is ranked as difficult in digestible substances. Therefore, despite the fact that it is found in many foods, the body simply can not provide them with the absorption of calcium. Making it harder are cereals, spinach, soda, candy and other acid neutralizing effect, concentrated carbohydrates that stimulate the secretion of digestive juices alkaline composition.
Calcium is well absorbed from dairy products, helped by lactose (milk sugar). It turns into lactic acid in the gut due to the bacteria found there.
Citric acid and amino acids promote the absorption of calcium and form with it readily soluble and easily absorbed compounds.
Calcium is more easily absorbed with a sufficient amount of fat, but you need to keep track of their overabundance or disadvantage that give the opposite effect.
Worth to know that the ability to absorb calcium is amplified in women during pregnancy.
Sources of Calcium
Milk and products of dairy origin are excellent suppliers of calcium (hard cheese, cottage cheese), as well as eggs, nuts, fish, green vegetables. Potable water may serve as one of the sources of calcium. Water is supplying the body with 10 to 30% of calcium, depending on its hardness. It is worth to note that the basil and sprouts contain more calcium than milk.