Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Your body contains 2 to 3 pounds of calcium. For proper calcium absorption, vitamin D, fluoride and silicon are needed. Calcium works closely with phosphorus and magnesium.
Natural Food Sources
Almonds, Brazil nuts, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, calcium fortified cereal & juice, caviar, cheese, cottage cheese, green leafy vegetables, kelp, milk products, canned salmon & sardines, tofu, turnip greens, yogurt.
Calcium is necessary for bone and tooth formation, heart function, blood coagulation and muscle contraction. Calcium has a role in controlling blood pressure and may help prevent colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, PMS and osteoporosis. Leg cramps may be alleviated with calcium.
Muscle cramps, tingling in the arms and legs, cramps, joint pain, heart palpitations, dental cavities, insomnia and stunted growth are some symptoms of calcium deficiency. Brittle bones, a humped spine and osteoporosis may result over time. Children with extreme calcium deficiency may develop rickets, a disease that causes deformed bones. Too much magnesium or phosphorus in the diet may lead to a calcium deficiency, as can excessive smoking, alcohol or consumption of soft drinks.
If greater than several thousand mg of calcium are consumed daily, symptoms such as confusion, constipation, nausea, bloating, irregular heart beat, excessive bone calcification, kidney stones, poor iron and zinc absorption and calcium deposits in the arteries and veins may result.
Dietary Reference Intake
Older adults, and pregnant/nursing women should aim for the higher end of this spectrum. If taking supplements, calcium citrate is the recommended form.