Calcium is the fifth most abundant mineral on the planet. You can find it almost anywhere and there are lots of foods that contain rich amounts of this mineral. It is also widely advertised in mass media that you need this mineral in order to keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy.
It goes without saying that calcium is one of the most popular nutrients that you can get from foods. Even small children are aware that they need it for proper development of the body. However, there are still some interesting things that you should know about this mineral.
1. Did you know that as you get older, your calcium requirement also increases? The recommended intake for infants is 279 mg. Toddlers need 500 mg while small children need 800 mg per day. Growing teens up to 19 years old should get 1000 mg per day. As you get older, your intake should increase to as much a 1,300 mg per day.
2. Getting too much of everything is always bad for your health. This is true for your calcium intake. As much as possible, you should never go beyond the 2,500 mg maximum daily intake. Anything above this figure could be toxic and might cause some serious health problems for you.
3. Calcium and vitamin C work together. This mineral can be properly absorbed in your stomach if you have optimum levels of acid ph. Taking vitamin C will enable you to maintain the right stomach acidity.
4. Magnesium is also an important partner of this mineral. The proper ratio is 2:1 or 200 grams of Ca to 100 grams of magnesium. Magnesium is important as a counter balance for nerve stimulation and relaxation.
5. Vitamin D is also important to promote the proper bone absorption of calcium. The absorption of this mineral could be adversely affected if your body has insufficient levels of vitamin D.
6. Absorption is optimal during the night when your parathyroid glands are most active. So the glass of milk you will drink at night can be fully utilized by your bones and teeth.
7. Most of your calcium requirements can be supplied by milk and other dairy products. But if you are lactose intolerant, your best alternatives would be green vegetables, rooibos tea, sea foods, and nuts.
8. Almost 99 percent of calcium is deposited in your bones and teeth. The rest is distributed through the blood stream and utilized by the cells.
9. A deficiency may occur due to poor dietary sources and mal-absorption. If you suffer from a deficiency, your body will draw the reserve calcium from your bones. This is the reason why the risk of developing bone problems could be greater if you are suffering from a deficiency.
10. An over consumption of this mineral could be toxic and may result to hypercalcemia. You may also experience other symptoms of over consumption or overdose such as constipation, nausea, stomach upset, gastric discomfort, general body weakness and fatigue and build up of stone deposits in the kidneys.