8 Facts about Calcium You Need To Know : Do you wish to lose a few pounds? Do you want to strengthen your bones, muscles, and ligaments? All you have to do is add calcium to your diet. This might sound surprising if you believe dairy products can cause you to put on weight. The fact is that science has other plans, and it is good news for fitness enthusiasts.
Calcium, as you are aware, is an essential mineral. It is responsible for about 1.5—2% of our total body weight, and almost 99% of calcium is stored in our teeth and bones. The remaining 1% is present in our blood and other tissues.
Your mom always reminded that if you do not drink enough milk, you’ll end up with weak bones. Of course, moms are always right.
Dairy products, particularly milk are a rich source of calcium and if your diet doesn’t contain an adequate amount of this bone-strengthening nutrient, it increases your risk of developing osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Now that we are talking about bone health, we must focus on osteoporosis–a condition characterized by weak, porous bones and increased risk of spinal, wrist and hip fractures. About 75 million people in the United States, Europe, and Japan are affected with Osteoporosis and nearly 200 women are affected worldwide.
This debilitating condition is caused by the deficiency of calcium. The good news is that the possibilities of a fracture-free life can be increased by making calcium rich foods along with vitamin D, and vitamin K sources a regular part of your diet.
Some fascinating facts about Calcium
Apart from improving your health, here are 8 scientific facts about calcium you may have never heard before:
1. Fuels physiological functions
Your body needs sufficient calcium to maintain physiological functions including sending messages to the brain, maintaining a regular heartbeat, timely muscle contraction, for circulating blood and releasing hormones.
The daily recommended intake of calcium is about 1,000 to 1,300 mg per day. Consult a GP to determine the exact amount of calcium you need and for this, you no longer have to visit a healthcare facility. That’s right. Most practitioners have incorporated telehealth into their practice which means you can get the best advice using your laptop or smartphone.
2. Prevent acidity by balancing your PH level
The average pH range of the human body is between 7.35 and 7.45. If your body’s pH becomes too acidic, your health is seriously affected. Calcium prevents acidity by maintaining a PH level that’s close to normal due to its alkaline nature. Remember that if your body is highly acidic, it might lead to hypertension and the formation of kidney stones.
3. Prevents obesity
The relationship between calcium and weight loss is encouraging. Researchers at Purdue University revealed that people who consumed 1,300 to 1,400 mg of calcium per day from dairy products had lesser body fat after 18 months.
So the question is–how can dairy foods prevent weight gain… and the answer is simple. It is all because of one major nutrient – Calcium.
Calcium as you can guess influences the way your body burns fat. Hence, when your body has enough calcium, it can burn fat in greater quantities and lower your risk of developing obesity.
4. Calcium and Vitamin D Work together
Calcium and Vitamin D are essential nutrients for bone health. However for your body to absorb calcium, you need to pay attention to your vitamin D intake. Calcium, as stated earlier helps in muscle functions, and along with vitamin D, it can help your body fight against debilitating conditions like arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D can boost your immune system and at the same time help in fighting depression, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer. You can include rich sources of vitamin D such as Salmon, mushrooms and egg yolks in your diet. Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D as well.
5. Inhibit PMS
PMS is annoying, and it can be worsened by Vitamin D deficiency. The rise in estrogen levels causes calcium, vitamin D and magnesium levels to fluctuate leading to PMS. Evidence suggests that PMS symptoms are triggered due to the deficiency of calcium in the central nervous system.
Dr. Susan Thys-Jacobs, the director of the metabolic bone center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center New York, suggests that decent intake of calcium over time can reduce PMS symptoms, including irritability, anxiety, depression, and headaches.
6. Fight against kidney stone
How can calcium reduce the formation of kidney stones? Well, oxalate – a natural substance found in many foods is also present in your body. Calcium interestingly keeps oxalate levels under check and reduces the chances of kidney stones formation. Eating foods that are rich in calcium is a good way to keep your kidney healthy and free from stones.
7. Calcium deficiency can lead to chronic diseases
Research from a woman hospital in Boston, based on 17 peer-reviewed studies found that calcium plays an important role in fighting chronic diseases. A similar conclusion was made by a Swedish study. Scientists suggest that eating calcium-rich foods can lower the risk of colon cancer.
8. Improve your fertility
Calcium is commonly known for maintaining strong teeth and bones, but did you know it is also essential for improving your fertility? According to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can restore their normal menstruation cycle by taking vitamin D and calcium supplements. Besides normalizing ovulation, calcium is also a key ingredient that supports fetal growth.
James Crook is a college student and a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. You can follow him on twitter @jamescrook911
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