Calcium – for strong bones and teeth

Calcium and magnesium are commonly known minerals which are supplemented to the body through dairy products. However, the human body is more likely to contain more calcium than all other types of minerals. Yes, that’s right! In fact, for the average adult, the total body content can range anywhere between 1 – 1.2 kg of calcium. Interestingly enough, calcium is an electrolyte (can be sweated out) that has the role of supporting muscle function, apart from also maintaining the health of your teeth and bones.

The role of calcium

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Together with vitamin D, calcium plays a role in the formation and strengthening of bones (99% of calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth). Vitamin D is essential for helping your body to absorb and use calcium effectively.

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Calcium contributes to the formation of healthy teeth.

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It is responsible for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting and plays a role in the release of hormones.

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Calcium is responsible for the muscle contraction, nerve transmission and blood clotting functions in the body. It also plays an important role in the regulation of hormone levels in the body.

A consistent supply of calcium is beneficial for your body. Foods that are rich in calcium can supply an adequate amount of the mineral as per your body's individual requirements. Alternatively, you can also opt to consume health supplements that contain calcium as well. You might take a supplement with a unique combination of vitamins and minerals (including calcium) which can help you to meet your daily intake requirements, apart from being able to also keep you focused and energized daily.

Foods rich in calcium

  • dairy products: cheeses (Parmesan, Emmental), milk
  • green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, cabbage, parsley, watercress)
  • fish (particularly those with consumable bones, like anchovies or sardines)
  • seeds (poppy, sesame, celery and chia seeds)
  • nuts
  • beans and lentils
  • tofu
  • bread and anything made with fortified flour
  • some mineral waters

The consequences of a lack of calcium in the body may not be apparent right away. That is why people who are on a dairy-free diet should seriously consider taking calcium supplements. A lack of calcium in the body may include medium-long term changes in the calcium levels of your bones, which can eventually weaken them. In addition to that, if your body is not getting enough calcium from food sources, it may instead utilise calcium from the skeleton or teeth in order to strengthen other parts of the body, which can cause osteoporosis. Other consequences of a lack of calcium in the body may include a tingling sensation in the muscles, as well as muscle cramps.

Quote – calcium is an electrolyte, which helps support muscles

Who can benefit from calcium supplements?

  • Postmenopausal women. After menopause, a woman may suffer from a loss of bone mass as a result of a decline in her body’s estrogen levels. In that regard, taking calcium-based supplements may help to minimise the loss of bone density.
  • Vegans. Calcium that is supplemented through animal-based foods are better absorbed by the body, which is why people who consume a vegan diet may be at risk of suffering from a lack of calcium in their bodies.
  • Overweight and obese people. Studies have found a direct link between a low calcium intake to a higher body mass index, and a higher body fat percentage.
  • People with osteoporosis. This debilitating physical condition may cause your bones to get weaker over time, thus increasing the risk of them breaking. Hence, it is advisable for you to supplement your body with an adequate intake of calcium in order to preserve the strength of your bones.

Nowadays, it has become common to see parents giving children a glass of milk before bedtime for healthy development of bones and teeth. As adults, you too can choose to adopt this practice as a daily habit, as it will help to preserve the calcium levels in your body, and maintain the strength of your bones and teeth.


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