5 uses of calcium in the body

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is also the 5th most abundant element in the body after oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen. These are found in all body organs and cells. It accounts for about 1.9% of the body weight. Calcium is part of the big five in the body.

Calcium is an important part of the body. It also forms the bulk of the skeleton; bones and cartilage. Vitaminfood helps you to maintain your calcium intake the vegan way. We help keep your skeleton rigid and healthy.

Of the calcium found in the body, about 99% is found in bones and cartilages. The remaining 1% is found in teeth and soft tissues and very little about 0.1% is found in the extra-cellular fluid. Despite being just a fraction of all the calcium in the body, 0.1% plays a major role in homeostatic and metabolic processes.

 

Roles of calcium in the body:

  1.       Optimal bone health

Calcium is a major component in the composition of bones. It is needed for the formation of all bones and for the processes involved in their lengthening and maintenance. Calcium is the mineral that almost single-handedly safeguards the integrity of the skeletal structure. They are like bricks in the construction of a house.

The availability of calcium, especially during growth spurts of below 2 years and during puberty, determines bone growth and rigidity. Calcium in the skeleton is found as either calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate; hydroxyapatite. It is embedded within the collagen fibrils to provide strength to the bones. It is the compound that enables the bones to bear the weight without collapsing.

If adequate calcium is supplied during the growth stages, then the matrix is calcified and the bone becomes strong. However, if a deficiency occurs during these crucial stages, the bone is consequently affected.

The calcium within the bones also serves as a reservoir for deficits in the extracellular fluid and other functions in the body.

  1.       Promotes heart health

Calcium especially dietary rather than supplementary has been linked to positive heart health and reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms involved are indirect but effective. Calcium decreases the intestinal absorption of lipids as these in excess could clog the heart vessels. It also lowers cholesterol levels in the blood. These two are useful especially in preventive treatment compared to curative efforts.  

  1.       Metabolic function in various processes.

Calcium has a role to play in neuromuscular and cellular functions.  Calcium influxes are involved in the mediation of hormones and in signaling pathways to target cells. Calcium pumps are also active to help maintain a balance in the calcium concentration of the extra-cellular fluid.

Calcium is also found within special reservoirs in the cells whose concentration and permeability across the cell membrane is varied from time to time. This variation is meant to regulate the intake of other ions across the cell membrane like sodium and potassium. So having the right amounts of calcium ensures that you also have the right concentration of several other ions.

  1.       Protects against cancer

Calcium if coupled with Vitamin D could help ward off colorectal cancer. Low-dietary fat calcium sources are a great boost for this health goal.

Calcium ions play a protective role against harmful cancer cells in the terminal gastrointestinal tract.

  1. Weight loss

Calcium has also been proven to help in managing weight. It helps the body burn fat and increases thermogenesis so the temperature for metabolic reactions is more favorable. This impact is however greater felt in people who are recovering from a deficiency.

Calcium absorption

Calcium absorption varies with the age of a person and as well as the composition of the diet. In infants, the rate could be as high as 60%, primarily because of their calcium requirement. In adolescents, it could be around 30% and in adults and into old age, the rate declines to 15-20% and to below 10% in the ultimate old life.

Dietary factors that could affect the rate of calcium absorption include the availability of vitamin D which is a great boost to the absorption rates. The intestines require vitamin D for absorption of calcium and phosphorous.

Other components like phytic acid and oxalic acid cause a decrease in the amount of calcium absorbed by the intestines because they bind strongly to it. So spinach, beans and sweet potatoes are not very opportune for taking before or after that glass of dairy milk you love. This is especially true for dairy products as the bioavailability is significantly reduced.

Get Vitaminfood, your vegan and well-designed food to ensure that the food you consume gets to your body muscles and tissues that same way.

The body’s ability to absorb nutrients also gradually declines with age, so with old age comes reduced calcium absorption.

Deficiency

A deficiency in calcium causes osteoporosis. In infants, the reason is dietary inadequacy or impaired absorption due to health conditions like diarrhea or Crohn’s syndrome. In adults, however, though the two are possible reasons, bone resorption is the main principle. If the calcium is taken off the bone for maintenance or use elsewhere at a rate quicker than it is replaced, then the bone becomes thinner and bone density greatly reduces.

 Populations at greatest risk include infants, adolescents, post-menopausal women and elderly men.

Hypercalcemia

An excess usually from supplements has the following effects

Renal insufficiency in that it cannot match the pace of calcium being brought in from the blood.

Vascular and soft tissue calcification- this happens in a bid to regulate the amount of calcium in the blood as this interferes with cellular functions. So the calcium is packaged into fibrils of soft tissues which doesn’t occur under normal circumstances.

Kidney stones

Constipation

Interferes with iron and zinc absorption

Risks of prostate cancer and heart diseases increase because of the calcification which hardens these tissue affecting their activity and their contraction.

This all happens very speedily when calcium carbonate is in excess. It is easily deposited as sediments. The recommended upper limit is 3g.

 Vitaminfood and calcium

Bone health is a greater issue, greater than it was last decade and last century. Bone thinning and density loss are among these problems. Calcium is vital throughout the entire lifetime. First for bone growth and calcification then afterward for bone maintenance. Getting enough calcium is the only way to ensure that the bones do not suffer any deficiency during growth or maintenance.

Vitaminfood is here to deliver all the calcium you need for healthy bones. Meal replacements that serve you calcium along with all the other vital nutrients in the recommended daily intake amounts. Get regular delivery of Vitaminfood and be assured that your bones will be healthy. 

 

 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4010554/
  2. https://www.algaecal.com/calcium/weight-loss/
  3. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/90/7/3824/2837201
  4. https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2009/03/16/Calcium-may-boost-weight-loss-but-only-if-you-re-deficient
  5. https://d-calusa.com/can-calcium-help-you-lose-weight/\
  6. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56515