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The role of Calcium in human health

CA is the most abundant mineral in the human body, it is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth.

By Dr. Mohye el Din / 2 Sep 2013

CA is the most abundant mineral in the human body, it is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth.

About 99% of the body calcium is located in the skeleton, the other 1% is distributed in blood and soft tissues and plays an important part in vital functions as nerve conduction, muscle contraction, blood clotting, membrane permeability and hormonal signaling.

CA salts are deposited in the organic matrix of bone giving the bone its rigid structure and strength, as the bone is the main reservoir of body calcium.

The rate of absorption from gut should match the loss to avoid release of CA from the bone and development of osteomalacia or osteoporosis.
This usually is regulated by parathyroid hormone, Calcitonin. VIT D, oestrogen and testosterone.

Bone are constantly remodeled every day with calcium moving in and out of bone.

Children and adolescent (up to age 30) build new bones faster than old bone break down, so total bone mass increases and there is much demand for increased calcium intake, otherwise osteomalacia could develop. Also in old adults, especially the postmenopausal women, bone is broken at faster rate than it is built.

If the calcium intake is too low this can lead to osteoporosis so calcium supplementation is needed at the 2 extremes of age — children, adolescents and old adults.

Even it is generally accepted that obtaining enough dietary calcium throughout life can significantly decrease risk of osteoporosis

Daily requirements of calcium are as follow:

Children up to 10 years 200-1000mg
Teens: 1,300 mg
Adults from 19 -50 years: 1,000 mg
Pregnant and lactating women: 1,300 mg

Calcium could be afforded in different food groups as well as drug supplements.

As regard the food groups mainly dairy products (milk-yogurt-cheese) one cup of milk equal 300 mg. Leafy vegetables as broccoli, canned salmon, sardines, cereals and calcium fortified foods are rich in calcium.

Calcium supplements should be given to those at the extremes of age due to high demand, as well as pregnant, lactating women. Those with bad nutrition habits or malabsorption syndrome and those following a vegan diet, calcium citrate and carbonate are the best choices because they contain large amounts of elemental calcium and dissolve well in the body.

Oyster shell calcium is not preferred because of risk of lead intoxication and bacterial contamination.

These is also the form Osteoguard, close to natural calcium and associated with Magnesium, which directs calcium to be deposited in bone and avoid extra skeletal deposition.


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