Calcium is essential for overall health. Almost all cells of the body require calcium for optimal functioning. Some of the areas where the body uses calcium include:
Studies on the effect of calcium on health benefits have shown:
- Bone health and osteoporosis: Bones need an enormous amount of calcium and vitamin D during childhood and adolescence to reach their peak strength and calcium content by about the age of 30 years. After 30 years, bones start to lose calcium. However, it can be reduced by getting recommended amounts of calcium throughout adulthood. Osteoporosis is a condition where the bone becomes porous and fragile. Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements may prevent osteoporosis and preserve bone health.
- High blood pressure: Some studies have shown that taking daily required calcium can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. Especially, eating a fat-free diet that includes low-fat dairy products, vegetables, and fruits has been shown to lower blood pressure.
- Preeclampsia: Pregnant women who take less than 900 mg of calcium a day can increase preeclampsia risk. It is a condition where the woman suffers from high blood pressure and kidney problems that lead to protein release in the urine. It can also lead to stillbirth or death of the mother or their unborn babies. Ensure to get 1000 mg of calcium from the diet or through supplements.
What are the different types of calcium supplements and daily calcium intake?
There are several types of calcium compounds used in calcium supplements. Each compound comprises a variable amount of mineral calcium known as elemental calcium. Some of the most common calcium supplements include:
- Calcium carbonate (40% elemental calcium)
- Calcium citrate (21% elemental calcium)
- Calcium lactate (13% elemental calcium)
- Calcium gluconate (9% elemental calcium)
To avoid calcium deficiency, here is the daily recommended calcium intake according to age and gender.
|Newborn to 6 months||200 mg/day||200 mg/day|
|6 to 12 months||260 mg/day||260 mg/day|
|1 to 3 years||700 mg/day||700 mg/day|
|4 to 8 years||1,000 mg/day||1,000 mg/day|
|9 to 18 years||1,300 mg/day||1,300 mg/day|
|19 to 50 years||1,000 mg/day||1,000 mg/day|
|51 to 70 years||1,000 mg/day||1,200 mg/day|
|Older than 71 years||1,000 mg/day||1,000 mg/day|
|Pregnant and breastfeeding teens||1,300 mg/day|
|Pregnant and breastfeeding adults||1,000 mg/day|
What are the health risks of not taking sufficient calcium?
Not taking sufficient calcium will not produce any symptoms in the short term because the body maintains the calcium level in the blood by taking it from the bone. Over the long period, calcium deficiency (hypocalcemia) can have consequences, such as:
Severe calcium deficiency can attribute to the following signs and symptoms:
Who is at higher risk of developing low calcium level?
Certain populations are at greater risk for low calcium levels, including:
- Postmenopausal women
- Lactose-intolerant and dairy-avoiding people
- Anorexic people or those with other eating disorders
- People who take certain medicines for osteoporosis (bisphosphonates)
- People who have parathyroid disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, or liver or kidney disease.
- People who consume a large amount of protein or sodium, which can cause the body to excrete more calcium
- People receiving long-term corticosteroid treatment
Family Doctor. Calcium: What You Need to Know. American Academy of Family Physicians. https://familydoctor.org/calcium-what-you-need-to-know/
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Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Hypercalcemia (Elevated Calcium Levels)Hypercalcemia is a condition in which calcium levels in the blood are elevated. Hypercalcemia is associated with other conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney failure, and elevated levels of vitamin D. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, and kidney stones. Treatment depends on the cause of hypercalcemia.
Is Almond Milk Healthier Than Regular Milk?Almond milk is ideal for people who prefer a vegan diet and want fewer calories, but regular milk is more effective at strengthening bones during youth.
lysineLysine is an essential amino acid used to treat cold sores (herpes simplex labialis), increase alkalinity in the body (metabolic alkalosis), improve bone density, and boost athletic performance. Lysine increases calcium absorption. Excessive doses may cause gallstones and kidney disorders. Common side effects of lysine include abdominal pain, diarrhea, kidney inflammation (interstitial nephritis), and chronic kidney (renal) failure. It is safer to get adequate lysine through dietary intake and avoid lysine supplementation during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
Vitamins and Calcium SupplementsVitamins are organic substances that are essential for the proper growth and functioning of the body. Calcium is a mineral essential for healthy bones and is also important for muscle contraction, heart action, and normal blood clotting. Check out the center below for more medical references on vitamins and calcium supplements, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Causes High Calcium Levels in Infants?Elevated levels of calcium in the blood indicate a condition known as hypercalcemia. The causes of high calcium levels may vary with age and other factors. High calcium levels in infants can be caused by excess calcium in food, excessive vitamin D intake, excessive vitamin A intake, primary hyperparathyroidism or an increase in parathyroid hormone (PTH), cancerous tumors, injury to skin or fat tissue, infectious diseases (leprosy and histoplasmosis), immobilization or bed rest, and family history of genetic disorders.
What Does Calcium Do for the Body?Calcium is an essential mineral required for the optimal functioning of the body.
What Happens if You Eat Yogurt Every Day?The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends three cup equivalents of dairy per day (including yogurt, cream cheese, low-fat milk) for those older than nine years of age. So, if people stay within recommended limits, yogurt will help keep them healthy.
Why Are Calcium Levels Low in Renal Failure?Renal failure usually causes calcium imbalance. During renal failure, the kidneys may no longer filter out extra phosphorus and remove it from the body or from urine. Over time, phosphorus may increase in the blood. Calcium and phosphorous usually keep each other in check.