Calcium: why it’s important and signs of calcium deficiency
Out of all the minerals in our body, calcium occurs more than any other. Calcium benefits your overall health and is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and normal teeth.
According to the NHS, adult’s calcium intake should be 700mg of calcium a day and it is advised that you should be able to get all the calcium you need from your diet in foods such as milk, cheese, broccoli, soya beans, bread and nuts.1
The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, without it you will have insufficient calcium absorption from your diet and your body will take calcium from your bones, ultimately weakening them.
Symptoms and signs of calcium deficiency
Calcium deficiency in its early stage may not cause any symptoms, so it is important to make sure you are getting a varied diet to maintain calcium levels. Severe deficiency can include muscle cramps, brittle nails, easy fracturing of the bones and muscle spasms.
Who needs additional calcium?
The natural ageing process can cause calcium deficiency disease. Most of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and as you age your bones begin to thin which increases your daily calcium intake requirement.
Due to a decrease in estrogen production after menopause women's bodies are less able to retain calcium from dietary sources and could be advised to supplement their calcium intake. 2
How does the body control calcium levels?
We have four parathyroid glands that produce the parathyroid hormone which helps control the levels of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D within the bones and blood. In order for the body to function properly, the levels of these must be maintained however some disorders can mean your glands create too much or too little of the parathyroid hormone causing the levels to fluctuate.
Hypoparathyroidism is a diminished concentration of parathyroid hormone in the blood, which causes deficiencies of calcium and phosphorus compounds in the blood.
Hyperparathyroidism is an abnormally high concentration of parathyroid hormone in the blood, resulting in weakening of the bones through loss of calcium.3
Supplementing calcium intake
There are different variations of calcium supplements; the two main types are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate is the most concentrated form of calcium and is the more common of the two. It must be consumed with food for your body to process it the best way. With calcium citrate, you can take it with or without food.
Since your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb and use calcium, a product such as Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil plus Fish Oil & Calcium capsules could be considered. It contains natural source omega-3 fish oil plus cod liver oil, Omega-3, Calcium and Vitamins D & E.
Are you getting enough calcium? Without enough calcium you increase your risk of developing diseases like osteoporosis, osteopenia and calcium deficiency disease, otherwise known as hypocalcemia.