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CALCIUM

Calcium has the atomic number of 20 and the human body needs calcium more than any other mineral. A man weighing 70 kg. contains one kg. of calcium. About 99 per cent of the quantity in the body is used for building strong bones and teeth and the remaining one per cent is used by the blood, muscles and nerves. Calcium performs many important functions. Without this mineral , the contractions of the heart would be faulty, the muscles would not contract properly to make the limbs move and blood would not clot. Calcium stimulates enzymes in the digestive process and coordinates the functions of all other minerals in the body. 

Calcium also helps to protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals, prevents the bone loss that can occur as a result of menopause or certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, helps to prevent migraine headaches, reduces PMS symptoms during the luteal phase (the second half) of the menstrual cycle.

Calcium also plays a role in many other vital physiological activities, including blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, cell membrane function and blood pressure regulation. Because these activities are essential to life, the body utilises complex regulatory systems to tightly control the amount of calcium in the blood, so that sufficient calcium is always available. As a result, when dietary intake of calcium is too low to maintain adequate blood levels, calcium stores are drawn out of the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations.

Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium.

Calcium deficiency

A deficiency of calcium may cause porous and fragile bones, tooth decay, heart palpitations, muscle cramps, insomnia and irritability. A large increase in the dietary supply of calcium is needed in tetany and when the bones are decalcified due to poor calcium absorption, as in rickets, oesteomalacia and the mal-absorption syndrome. Liberal quantity of calcium is also necessary when excessive calcium has been lost from the body as in hyperparathyroidism or chronic renal disease.

Calcium cannot achieve its objectives unless phosphorous is also present in a proper balance. Too much phosphorous, though, can cause diarrhoea and calcification (hardening) of organs and soft tissue and can interfere with the body's ability to use iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It is a matter of getting the balance right which is why supplementation is not advised. Foods that contain these minerals will never overdose the consumer with phosphorous.

Hypercalcaemia

Hypercalcaemia occurs when there is high levels of calcium in the blood and muscles and can lead to irreversible kidney damage. Taking high doses of vitamin D supplements can cause this. The symptoms of hypercalcaemia include:

  • Abdominal pain.

  • Confusion.

  • Constipation or diarrhoea.

  • Fatigue.

  • Increased thirst.

  • Muscle weakness or pain.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Passing urine often.

  • Poor appetite or loss of appetite.

 

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Hypocalcaemia

Hypocalcaemia is the medical term for low serum calcium levels in the blood.

Highest sources of calcium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Dried herbs such as basil, dill, marjoram, rosemary and thyme 2113 mg

  • Cheese such as goat’s, gruyere, parmesan, Romano and Swiss 1376 mg

  • Sesame seeds 975 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 961 mg

  • Tinned fish with bones such as sardines, mackerel and pilchards 383 mg

  • Tofu 372 mg

  • Almonds 264 mg

  • Flaxseeds 255 mg

  • Anchovies 232 mg

  • Chlorella 221mg

  • Mussels 180 mg

  • Oysters 170 mg

  • Brazil nuts 160 mg

  • Prawns 150 mg

  • Tripe 150 mg

  • Scallops, spirulina and watercress 120 mg

  • Whole milk and whole yoghurt 113 mg

  • Chinese cabbage 105 mg

  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as dandelion greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens  99 mg

  • Okra 77 mg

  • Soya beans 75 mg

  • Fish such as bass, herring, pike, perch, pollock and rainbow trout 74 mg

  • Kidney beans 70 mg

  • Eggs 60 mg

  • Broccoli 47 mg

Recommended daily requirement of calcium

Around 400 mg to 600 mg is recommended for an adult between 30 and 50, 1000 mg for growing children, adults up to 30 and over 50 and pregnant or lactating women. 1000 mg per day is required by male and female athletes and 3000 mg is required by athletes in competitive sports.

Other natural sources of calcium in alphabetical order

Associated subjects

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it. Nature Cures is not responsible for, and does not endorse, any content or items purchased from any external websites linked to this website. 

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