, medical expert
Last reviewed: 23.04.2024

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Calcium (Ca) has an important role in blood clotting, and is also part of bones and teeth. Only calcium affects the strength of bones and is deposited in our body throughout life. What other useful functions are performed by calcium, now we will find out.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]

General characteristics of calcium

The amount of calcium in our body is very easy to calculate. It will be about 2% of the total body weight, that is, about 1000 - 1500 g. About 99% of it is part of the bones, dentin and enamel on the teeth, and the rest is in the nerve cells and soft tissues.

The amount of calcium needed per day

In a day, a person needs 800-1000 mg of calcium. If you are over 60 or you are an athlete, then increase this amount to 1200 mg.

Under what conditions does the need for calcium increase?

It is known to everyone that children from an early age need to give a lot of cottage cheese and other dairy products, and all because at an early age the need for calcium is very high. If the child receives a sufficient amount of this element in childhood, then he will be healthy and there will be no problems with bones.

Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should also consume a lot of foods saturated with calcium. On this depends the health of the future or already existing child!

Athletes and people with heavy sweating doctors also recommend increasing the daily dose of calcium.

Useful effect of calcium on the body

Calcium is a material for the construction of teeth and bones. Blood can not exist without calcium, because it is part of it. Tissue and cellular fluid also have calcium in their composition. Calcium prevents the entry into the body of viruses and foreign bodies, plays an important role in the clotting of blood.

Calcium takes part in the management of the functions of hormones, is responsible for the isolation of insulin, manifests in the body anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, takes part in the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins in muscles, increases the body's defenses, takes part in the restoration of the hydrochloric-water balance of the body.

The alkaline effect in the acid-base balance also occurs with the participation of calcium. Calcium must necessarily be present in the body in the right amount to transmit nerve impulses, maintain the heart, muscle contractions, adjust the stability of the nervous system. It stores calcium in long tubular bones.

It is interesting that if the calcium is supplied to the body poorly, he himself uses the stored calcium for the "needs" of the blood. With the help of the parathyroid hormone, phosphorus and calcium are transferred to the blood from bone tissue. That's how bones are sacrificed for the sake of the well-being of the blood!

Digestibility of calcium by the body

Calcium is an intractable element, so it is not very easy to provide the body with the right amount of calcium. For example, cereals, sorrel and spinach contain specific substances that interfere with the absorption of calcium. To calcium can be absorbed, it is first treated with hydrochloric acid in the stomach, and then it is amenable to bile, so that calcium salts can turn into digestible substances.

In order not to reduce the assimilation of calcium, you should not eat sweets and saturated carbohydrates at the same time, as they cause the release of alkaline gastric juices, and they prevent hydrochloric acid from treating calcium.

On the other hand, the excessive content of magnesium (Mg) and phosphorus (P) in the body hinders the processing of calcium. The point is that phosphorus (P) enters into a chemical reaction with calcium and forms a salt that can not be dissolved even in acid.

Calcium is well absorbed from dairy products, since they contain lactose - milk sugar. He under the influence of the microflora of the intestine turns into lactic acid and dissolves calcium. Any amino acids or even citric acid forms together with calcium substances that dissolve easily.

Fats also contribute to the good absorption of calcium. But there must be a certain amount. With a lack of fat for processing calcium, fatty acids will not suffice, and if there is an excess of fat, bile acids. The ratio of calcium and fat should be 1: 100. Thus, you will be served with cream, for example, 10% fat.

Interestingly, pregnant women absorb calcium much better than those. Who does not wait for the child.

trusted-source[8], [9], [10], [11],

Signs of a lack of calcium in the body

Signs of a lack of calcium in the body

When there is a lack of calcium in people, growth slows down, the nervous excitability increases. Such people suffer from insomnia, numbness and tingling in the limbs, pain in the joints and from the fragility of the nails. They have high blood pressure, overestimation of pain threshold, rapid heart rate. One of the signs of calcium deficiency is the craving for eating chalk.

In women with a lack of calcium, there are frequent profuse menstruation.

Children with calcium deficiency can develop rickets, and in adults - bone fragility and osteoporosis. With a small amount of calcium in the blood, muscle contractility can be disrupted: convulsions and convulsions occur.

In people with insufficient levels of calcium, mood can deteriorate sharply. Such a person becomes nervous, he can be sick, appetite can get worse.

Signs of an overabundance of calcium

Excess calcium can occur when taking too large doses of calcium at the same time as vitamin D. It can also happen if a person for a long time eats exclusively milk products. Excess calcium can settle in the organs, in the muscles and on the walls of the vessels. With excessive administration of calcium and vitamin D in the blood, there can be a strong relaxation of muscle tissue. A person can fall into a coma or a lethargic dream.

What affects the calcium content of foods?

A significant amount of calcium can be lost when preparing cottage cheese, so it is often specifically saturated with calcium.

Causes of calcium deficiency

If there is not enough lactose in the stomach - an enzyme that processes milk, calcium digestibility can be compromised. 10 days before the onset of menstruation, the level of calcium decreases sharply. During menstruation, this leads to contractions of the uterus, which causes painful sensations. When feeding exclusively vegetable food, vitamin D practically does not enter the body, from which the assimilation of calcium decreases.

trusted-source[12], [13], [14],

Products containing calcium

All milk products contain calcium. Some more, others less. Cheeses can contain up to 1000 mg of calcium. Thus, processed cheeses contain 860-1006 mg of calcium, cottage cheese - 164 mg, cheese - 630 mg. Sour cream is very useful for the body, because it contains 90-120 mg of calcium, and our favorite whipped cream is 86 mg. A variety of nuts can contain from 100 to 250 mg of calcium, so lovers of "nuts to beer" will not suffer from the fragility of bones.

Ordinary oatmeal contains up to 170 mg of calcium, and if there is it every morning, then in total with other foods it will completely provide calcium to your body.

The interaction of calcium with other elements 

When taking drugs, such as calcium carbonate, with food, the intake of ferrous sulphate is impaired. If you take calcium carbonate even in large quantities on an empty stomach, then iron (Fe) will be perfectly absorbed. A good intake of calcium helps to take vitamin D.

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.