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Calcium is a mineral that is important in the regulation and processes of many body functions including bone formation, hormone release, muscle contraction, and nerve and brain function. Hypercalcemia is the term that refers to elevated levels of calcium in the bloodstream.
Regulation of Calcium
Calcium levels are tightly regulated in the body. Calcium regulation is primarily controlled by parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, and calcitonin.
Parathyroid hormone is a hormone produced by the parathyroid glands, which are four small glands that surround the thyroid and are found in the anterior part of the lower neck.
Vitamin D is obtained through a process that begins with sun exposure to the skin, the process then continues in the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as eggs and dairy products.
Calcitonin is produced in specialized cells in the thyroid gland.
Together, these three hormones act on the bones, the kidneys, and the GI tract to regulate calcium levels in the