Calcium: Benefits, Side Effects, Risks and Dosage

Calcium
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

What is Calcium?

Calcium is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the human body, for living organisms it is highly essential mineral which has its involvement in blood clotting. It is required for maintaining the health of bones and teeth. Calcium has also been found to increase* muscle strength potentially and help to shed fat, thus aiding in weight loss*. A specific amount is required daily to maintain strong bones as well as for healthy communication between the brain and other body parts.

From Where Can You Get Calcium?

The rich natural sources of calcium are cheese; yogurt and milk. You can also get it from Non – dairy sources which include veggies such as beans kale, broccoli and Chinese cabbage. Foods fortified with calcium include tofu, cereals, whole wheat and many fruit juices or drinks. Seaweeds such as wakame, kelp and Hijiki also contain Calcium.

Benefits of Calcium

Calcium is essential to maintain bone and teeth health. The body must get adequate intake of calcium during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood up to the age of 30, this prevents osteoporosis. It increases* bone mass that lower the risk of osteoporosis at this age. Calcium is also very helpful to control* and prevent high blood pressure. It even prevents certain cancers and also reduces* the symptoms of PMS. Calcium along with vitamin D prevents breast cancer in premenopausal women.

Calcium Fat Loss Benefits

According to a new research calcium can help improve* fat burning* machinery of your body, this study suggests that three to four daily servings of low fat dairy products can help a lot. On the contrary high fat dietary calcium causes obesity, so always keep in mind to consume low fat dairy products.

Calcium for Muscle Strength

For the absorption of calcium in the body vitamin D is equally important. These two compounds have been analyzed for their effect on the muscle strength. Numerous studies are looking at supplementing the compounds. 1 g of calcium in a day along with vitamin D has been found to increase* muscle strength maybe by improving* the force of muscle contractions. So for strength training and bodybuilding calcium supplementation may help.

Side Effects of Calcium

Too much of calcium is not good for the body. Use of calcium and vitamin D at extreme levels can cause harmful side effects, it can cause soft tissue mineralization, prefer eating calcium rich foods.

What can be The Risk of Inadequate Calcium Intake?

Low intake of calcium is linked to low bone mineral density which leads to stress fractures; it can occur with high impact long term activities such as running. Athletes consume about 800 mg of calcium daily. It keeps their bones strong and healthy and less* likely to develop stress fractures.

Recommended Doses and Timing for Calcium

It is recommended to take around 800 mg per day. Consuming a supplement containing 300 mg calcium at least 2 to 3 times per day would be appropriate. It can be taken with a meal.

Conclusion

Most adults in the U.S. don’t get enough calcium, expert says. This is because many people don’t take calcium supplements. Focus on calcium rich diet to maintain adequate levels of calcium in the body.

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