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Calcium

 

Kim Perkins

 

 

 

 

Bone X-RayCalcium

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

What does calcium do inside the body?

 

            One of the controversial issues discussed is the role that calcium signaling plays is the molecular mechanisms regulating bone remodeling and the osteoclast. Calcium is involved in the recruitment and activation of osteoclasts and their detachment from bone. (http://hmg.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/11/20/2377). Calcium plays a role in mediating the constriction and relaxation of blood vessels, nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and the secretion of hormones. There is only 1% of the body’s calcium in the blood vessels and bloodstream and it’s very important for you to have that one-percent in order for your blood to clot and for your muscles to contract. (http://www.orst.edu/dept/lpi/infocenter/minerals/calcium/).

 

 

What does low consumption of calcium cause?

 

            Osteoporosis is a casualty in low consumption of calcium. Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to enhanced bone fragility and consequent increase in fracture risk. It is important to develop strategies to prevent and treat osteoporosis since it results in substantial morbidity, excess mortality, and health and social services expenditure. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12357012&dopt=Abstract). Calcium also helps in preventing osteoporosis. Calcium is primarily stored in your bones. If you don’t get enough calcium, your body must get the needed calcium in your blood and soft tissues by taking it from your bones. In order to get adequate calcium, you need to eat many calcium-rich foods from adolescence to menopause and beyond. (http://www.calciuminfo.com/index.htm).

 


                       

Calcium Homeostasis

 

 

Do calcium supplements work just as well as calcium?

 

           

According to a survey, calcium supplements do work just as well as calcium. Many elderly men and women would benefit from increased utilization of calcium supplements and bone-active medications. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12181625&dopt=Abstract). Also, according to Lau, Lynn, Chan, and Woo and their trial, the effects of milk supplementation in preventing bone loss in postmenopausal Chinese women were sustained after two years. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12398952&dopt=Abstract). You should take supplements that are known brand names with proven reliability. Look for labels that state “purified” or that have the USP symbol. Also, make sure the calcium is easily absorbable. Caltrate, Ezorb, and Coral Calcium are all prime examples of quality calcium supplements that are easily absorbable and that contain the right amount of calcium that you need.

 

 

What has negative effects on calcium?

 

           

Drinking caffeine has a negative effect on calcium. According to R. Heaney, caffeine-containing beverage consumption has been reported to be associated with reduced bone mass and increased fracture risk. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12204390&dopt=Abstract). A study was also done by Maurer, Riesen, Muser, Hulter, and Krapf in which they think that alkali administration produces calcium retention an inhibition of bone resorption. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12388390&dopt=Abstract).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What else can you do to build stronger bones?

 

            Bones become stronger and denser when you place demands on it, so exercise helps build stronger bones. Two types of exercises are important for building and maintaining bone loss: weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Activities include soccer, basketball, weight-lifting, running and dancing. An active lifestyle filled with varied physical activities strengthens muscles and improves bone strength. (http://www.nof.org/prevention/exercise.htm).

 

Why is calcium intake important?

 

            Over 99% of total body calcium is found in the teeth and bones and it accounts for 1-2% of adult human body weight. Dietary calcium intake has an important impact on bone metabolism and bone health. It is vital that adequate dietary calcium is consumed at all stages of life so that the skeletal mass can be maintained and age-related bone loss minimized. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is possible to take in too much calcium. It is safe for adults to consume up to 2000 mg of calcium every day but going over that may lower the absorption of certain medications and some nutrients, including iron. Overuse of calcium carbonate can also lead to severe renal damage. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12088515&dopt=Abstract).

 

 

 

 

 Age Group

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI)

 0 - 6 months

 210 milligrams/day

 6 - 12 months

 270 milligrams/day

 1 - 3 years

 500 milligrams/day

 4 - 8 years

 800 milligrams/day

 9 - 18 years

 1,300 milligrams/day

 Adults 19 - 50 years

 1,000 milligrams/day

 Adults 51+ years

 1,200 milligrams/day

 

What foods can you find calcium in?

 

Many people think that dairy products are the sole source of potential calcium in their diet but in reality, there is a large number and variety of other foods that can provide calcium. Milk does contain phosphorous and magnesium which helps the body in the absorption process. Many breads  and orange juice are fortified with calcium. (http://health.yahoo.com/health/centers/strongbones/20.html).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Test your calcium IQ

 

            Test your calcium IQ online at http://www.pubcomm.com/private-bin/texis/db/arhp/calcium/calciumtest. Check to see if you really know all about calcium.

 

 

References

 

1.     www.yahoo.com: keyword calcium

2.     www.pubmed.com: keyword calcium

 

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