What is Calcium?


girl drinking milk

Calcium is, quite simply, an essential element that is highly important for living organisms to survive. This includes humans and 1.5 to 2% of a human’s overall body weight consists of the element calcium. Represented by the elemental symbol of ‘Ca’, a certain amount of calcium is required each day in order to avoid a deficiency and subsequent disease.

Calcium is most well known for its ability to optimize and boost the health levels of bones and teeth, but it is also responsible for certain communications between the brain and other parts of the body. It is also particularly important when it comes to protecting against bone degenerating diseases like osteoporosis, which leads to the breakdown of bones and subsequent fractures.

Calcium in the Body

Up until the age of 20-25, calcium even builds upon the strength of the bones within the human body. After this age, when the bones reach what’s known as their ‘peak mass’, the element then goes further and assists in the maintenance and upkeep of the bones as well as helping to slow down bone density loss. While bone density loss is considered a ‘natural’ part of the aging process, an adequate and high quality form of calcium intake can help to defeat this issue through the adequate supply of calcium infusing the body with bone-enhancing properties.

Upwards of 99 percent of the calcium within our bodies is stored within the bones and teeth, however other areas that utilize calcium also store at least small portions of the element. This includes the muscles and the blood in order to regulate muscle contraction, normal heartbeat, and proper blood coagulation.

Hormone and enzyme release is another key characteristic of calcium, and is perhaps one of the most notable. Calcium directly helps blood vessels travel around the body as they should while being responsible for the release of many important hormones and enzymes. These hormones and enzymes help to regulate bodily functions, aid in proper assimilation of nutrients, and much more.

Calcium Protects Against Obesity, Disease

Calcium has even been found to be a major ally in the fight against unwanted fat. It was found in a 2010 study performed by North Carolina State University, in fact, that adequate calcium early in life can protect against obesity. The information brought awareness to the many functions of calcium outside of simple bone and teeth maintenance.

According to one of the scientific researchers from the study:

    “While the importance of calcium nutrition throughout childhood and adolescence is well-recognized, our work suggests that calcium nutrition of the neonate may be of greater importance to lifelong bone health, due to its programming effects on mesenchymal stem cells.”

Calcium Deficiencies

A calcium deficiency can trigger life-threatening diseases over time, or generate symptoms such as as seizures and neck pain. Most popularly, osteoporosis has been linked time and time again to an inadequate calcium supply within the body. In the event of a serious shortage, the body will even begin to leech calcium from the bones in order to supply the much-needed calcium into other areas of the body.

What may happen to you if you’re calcium deficient? Things you don’t want, such as:

  • Hypertension – also known as high blood pressure of arterial hypertension
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unusual changes in alertness of consciousness

Proper Calcium Intake

As with all nutritional supplements, not all forms are made the same. For example, vitamin D3 can be very enhancing to your overall health while vitamin D2 can be very damaging. The same is true with calcium. It is absolutely vital that you make sure you are consuming a super high quality form of calcium such as calcium orotate. I would also recommend finding a supplement that, in addition to containing zero fillers or contaminants of any kind, offers a magnesium orotate combination in order to experience the full benefits of these dual minerals.

- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

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