Benefits and sources of calcium
Calcium is a nutrient that all living organisms need, including humans. It is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it is vital for bone health.
Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones, and 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
Calcium occurs naturally in many foods, and food manufacturers add it to certain products. Supplements are also available.
Alongside calcium, people also need vitamin D, as this vitamin helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D comes from fish oil, fortified dairy products, and exposure to sunlight.
This article looks at why the body needs calcium, which foods are rich in calcium, what happens if the body does not have enough, and the pros and cons of taking supplements.
Why we need calcium
Calcium plays various roles in the body. These include the following:
Around 99% of the calcium in the human body is in the bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for the development, growth, and maintenance of bone.
As children grow, calcium contributes to the development of their bones. After a person stops growing, calcium continues to help maintain the bones and slow down bone density loss, which is a natural part of the aging process.
Females who have already experienced menopause can lose bone density at a higher rate than males or younger people. They have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, and a doctor may recommend calcium supplements.
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