Originally posted on https://jakefood.com/2018/calcium/.
You probably know that milk contains calcium and you might have even heard that calcium is good for your bones. But did you know that calcium is also in foods like seaweed and it keeps much more than just your bones healthy? Well, it’s the most abundant mineral in your body for good reason. Let’s get to know it better.
What is calcium?
Calcium is the most plentiful mineral in the human body, comprising between 1- 2kg of an average person’s weight. Around 99% of this amount is stored in your bones and teeth. The rest is in your blood. The concentration of calcium in your blood is tightly regulated and isn’t directly affected by sudden increases or decreases of your calcium intake.
As a food supplement, calcium is mostly available in two forms: as calcium carbonate and as calcium citrate. Both have the same function in your body and only differ in the way they are absorbed. Calcium carbonate is better absorbed when taken together with food, whereas calcium citrate is equally well absorbed alone as when taken with other nutrients.
Health benefits of calcium
One of calcium’s main functions is the formation and maintenance of our bones. It’s also involved in processes such as cell signalling, muscle contraction and blood clotting.
The key functions of calcium in your body are:
- Formation and remodelling of bones and teeth: Calcium is an integral part of bones and teeth, giving them strength and rigidity. It is crucial for bone remodelling, the lifelong process of replacing mature bone tissue with new bone tissue.
- Normal functioning of nerve cells: Calcium activates enzymes that are responsible for intracellular communication.
- Muscle and heart functioning: Calcium triggers the reactions that cause your muscles to contract and relax. This is especially vital for the functioning of the heart.
- Blood coagulation (clotting): The process of transforming blood from a liquid to a gel as a start of the healing process after injury.
Some research findings indicate that high doses of calcium might decrease Source:The New England Journal of Medicine the risk of colon cancer and increase Source: Journal of The National Cancer Institute the risk for prostate cancer. However, there is currently far from enough evidence to claim direct involvement of calcium in cancer development…