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Calcium


Calcium is required for the formation of strong teeth and bones and metabolism of vitamins A, C, B12, D, and E, phosphorus, and magnesium. Required for muscle function and activation of enzymes. Calcium is absorbed in the small intestine with the aid of vitamin D and is excreted in all body fluids. Phosphorus and magnesium must be present for proper metabolism.

FOOD SOURCES

Green leafy vegetables, nuts and grains, dairy products, seafood, soya products.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Bone meal, calcium amino acid chelate, calcium ascorbate, calcium carbonate, calcium caseinate, calcium citrate hydrate, calcium citrate malate (CCM), calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, di-calcium phosphate, hydroxyapatite, oyster shell, ‘coral calcium’, tricalcium phosphate. The most bioavailable form of calcium may be calcium citrate malate.

SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY

Rickets in children (stunted bone growth, bowed legs), bruxism and poorly formed teeth. In female adults, osteoporosis. Nervous disorders, and muscle cramps in arms and legs may indicate calcium deficiency. Lack of calcium is the most serious nutritional problem of older people. Risk groups: women over 45, men over 65, heavy drinkers, smokers, pregnant women. Also those with inactive lifestyles, low calorie diets, high protein diets, lactose intolerance, frequent use of magnesium antacids and cortisone medication. Low calcium availability has been linked to obesity.

SIGNS OF TOXICITY

Calcium overdose may also result in confusion, hypertension, increased sensitivity to light, increased thirst, slow heartbeat, arrhythmia, depression, bone pain, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, itching, skin rash, increased urination, constipation, nausea, hyperactive stomach, bloating, kidney stress, kidney stones if prone, Long term excess intake may lead to the formation of calcification plaque in tissues and blood vessels.

DAILY MINIMUM REQUIREMENT

Normal adults, 1000mg approx (more for young adults, pregnant women and older people). Do not exceed 1500 mg/day except under medical supervision.

 

 

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