14 Benefits Of Calcium And How It Can Cause Problems
In order to keep ourselves and our family healthy, we take measures to make our lives healthier by paying attention to the smallest nutrients that we may be missing out on.
But have you ever considered that you could also be missing out on some of the major elements required for healthy growth of the body?
Calcium is one such element whose deficiency is often ignored, and reports show that about 75% of Americans are calcium deficient along with being magnesium deficient.
Whether it is the white spots that have started to appear on the skin or the increasing pain in the joints, there are many early signs of calcium deficiency.
Calcium deficiency, if left untreated, can replicate into several skeletal diseases which can weaken the bone structure and deteriorate the bone mineral density in the body. If your body does not receive enough calcium from your diet, it takes it from your bones, which weakens them significantly.
Not receiving enough calcium can lead to bone breakage, increased brittleness of the nails and teeth, and overall poorer health.
However, you don’t have to lose your mind worrying about the calcium deficiency problem in your family. Your daily calcium intake can be easily increased by adding foods to your diet that are enriched with calcium.
Whether it is directly through milk, dairy products, juicing spinach (or other green leafy vegetables) or calcium supplements, you can improve your calcium intake with ease.
Read on to know more about the incredible ways calcium benefits your body.
1. Bone Growth And Skeletal Development
Osteoporosis is the condition which causes the abnormal skeletal development in children and is directly related to calcium deficiency. With an ample intake of calcium, bone development is not only catalyzed, but also prolonged, which is essential for the bone growth in small children and young adults.
2. Reducing The Occurrence Of Kidney Stones
It is a common misconception that calcium is the main culprit behind the occurrence of kidney stones. Scientific research and data suggest that the right amount of calcium intake by the body safeguards you against painful kidney stones that can wreck havoc on the linings of the kidneys.
3. Preventing PMS
Studies conducted by scientists suggest that the deficiency of calcium in the system can cause a negative impact on progesterone and estrogen levels, which can trigger PMS (premenstrual syndrome). This is the reason doctors recommend a daily dosage of 1000 mg of calcium for women, and about 2000 mg of calcium if they suffer from PMS.
4. Regulation Of Blood Pressure
Although most of the calcium (about 99%) in your body is present in the bones, the small amount of calcium in the blood helps in regulating low blood pressure. A regular dosage of calcium can also significantly help in treating hypertension.
5. Protects Against Cancer
It is a common belief that anti-oxidants are the chief cancer cell fighting agents. However, recent studies suggest that calcium may also be effective in fighting different types of cancers such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer.
6. Fetal Development in Expectant Mothers
Calcium is one of the chief elements in the body, and the skeletal system is entirely constructed of it.
During pregnancy, mothers are suggested to increase their calcium intake as it is not only required for the sustenance of their body, but also for the ideal growth and development of the baby.
Receiving enough calcium will ensure that the baby has enough calcium to continue growing at a healthy rate. If calcium is insufficient, the baby will be forced to leech the calcium it needs from the mother’s stores.
7. Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases
The deficiency of calcium in the body can affect the nervous system, which is directly connected to vital organs such as the heart. With a sufficient intake of calcium in your regular diet, you are protected from various cardiovascular diseases, as well as hypertension.
8. Keeping A Healthy Smile
Your skeletal system, including the jaw bones and teeth are comprised of calcium and is strengthened with phosphorus. With a sufficient calcium intake, your teeth and gums not only stay strong, but are safeguarded from attack against bacteria and plaque formation. You will know the importance of calcium when you have a full set of teeth even in old age.
9. Balancing The pH Levels In The Body
The foods we consume such as junk foods, sugars, and soft drinks can increase the acidic levels in the body, causing bloating and chronic acidity.
This acidity is not only uncomfortable but can also cause hypertension and stress the kidneys.
Calcium has a cooling effect on the system, which keeps the pH levels in the body alkaline.
9. Aiding In Weight Loss
Calcium acts as a natural catalyst on the metabolism, which increases the digestive processes. This helps in burning the fat cells in the body, which directly helps you in losing weight. So if you are looking forward to losing weight, calcium may be a useful ally.
10. Preventing Skin Damage
It is known that the deficiency of calcium causes the appearance of whitish spots on the face and skin.
With ample calcium content in your diet, you can not only get rid of the white spots, but also impart a natural glow to your skin.
Moreover, calcium has known to slow down the aging process of the skin and aid in skin repair, which can help you look years younger.
11. Prevents Hormone Abnormalities
An effective use of calcium is in stabilizing the hormone levels in the body. With a calcium rich diet, your body regulates the hormones such as adrenal, thyroid and others efficiently, which is useful for the optimum functioning of the body.
12. Reducing The Risk Of Chronic Diseases
Several profound studies claim that calcium can play a crucial role in preventing the occurrence of chronic illnesses.
The improved intake of calcium can not only fight chronic diseases, but also reduce the chances of them ever coming back.
13. Transporting Nutrients
Calcium along with vitamin D acts as the chief transporter of nutrients from one cell to another. This means that calcium not only provides the basic support for the skeletal structure, but also ensures that each cell receives the nutrients to replicate and grow.
14. Excessive Calcium Dangers
While having enough calcium in your blood is essential to healthy growth and prevention of disease, having too much can cause many more problems.
While rare, the condition Hypercalcemia is one in which there is an excess of calcium in the blood. Where calcium levels are usually regulated by the hormones parathyroid and calcitonin, the excess of calcium keeps them from functioning properly.
Hypercalcemia can be incredibly dangerous to cancer patients, therefore if you have cancer and suspect you have Hypercalcemia, contact your doctor immediately. Hypercalcemia is considered a medical emergency in cancer patients.
An excess of calcium has many side effects that should prompt a visit to your doctor. Here are a few:
It is very important to see your doctor immediately if you suspect Hypercalcemia is causing any of these effects to minimize the long-term damage that it can cause such as dementia, osteoporosis, and kidney failure.
Again, hypercalcemia is extremely rare and in most cases calcium is a good thing. However, it is important when dieting to be careful not to eat an excessive amount of any type of food in order to maintain balance.
Calcium, Magnesium & Arthritis
The majority of Americans are magnesium deficient, and calcium can’t be used by the human body without magnesium.
When there is a lack of magnesium, the calcium can’t be used and therefore deposits in the joints, causing arthritis and joint pain from the buildup.
You should read our magnesium supplementation post before it’s too late and pain is your partner for life.
Throughout history, calcium has been a useful element to mankind, and the progress of medical technology has brought us to the realization of how important this substance is.
With the regularly recommended dosage for children and adults, calcium is all you need for growth, development, and complete nutrition.
Women should especially consider calcium supplements as studies show that calcium deficiency affects women more compared to men.