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Calcium: Does It Do a Body Good?

Tuesday - September 20th, 2016
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Here’s your health fact for today: calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body!

So why is it so important to get enough of it? It’s essential not only for your teeth, but for your whole body. How does the body use calcium? Your muscles need calcium to move and function properly. Your nerves use it to carry messages throughout the body. Calcium also helps with your blood vessels, hormonal secretion, and metabolic functions. But only 1% of all the calcium in your body is used for these functions. This 1%, called serum calcium, is highly regulated by the body. Therefore, your dietary intake of calcium does not usually have an impact on this unless you’re deficient.

So why do I need to consume calcium?

The remaining 99% of your calcium is stored in your bones and teeth. It is important to get an adequate amount of calcium through food and supplements throughout life because the body constantly takes calcium from the bone and teeth reserves, through a process called “remodeling.” So getting enough calcium is essential for keeping bones and teeth strong and healthy.

What if I have too much or too little of it?

Long-term calcium deficiency can cause osteoporosis, a serious condition that results in weak and brittle bones that can easily fracture. Symptoms of a serious calcium deficiency include convulsions, heart palpitations, and numbness or tingling in the fingers. There are a few risks from getting too much calcium, including constipation, and an increased risk of kidney stones.