Calcium is a mineral that has many internal functions with the body, especially the participation in the structure of bones and teeth – important parts of man. This mineral is also involved in the formation of thromboplastin, thrombin, fibrin – substances that help the coaulation process go smoothly and participate in neuro-conduction and muscle contraction.
1. The importance of calcium in the body
Calcium is an essential mineral of the body, which plays a very important role in many activities of the body such as participation in muscle contraction, neurolycular conduction, the release of hormones and blood coaulation.
Children with calcium deficiency, in addition to rickets,slow increase in height are stunted, crying at night, or startled crying, sweating theft …
For adults, elderly people, pre-men men menausal or men's women, chronic calcium deficiency due to various causes will lead to a decrease in bone weight, an increase in bone digestion. In addition, calcium deficiency can cause nervous weakness, forgetfulness, mental instability, insomnia or sleep deprivation, irritable or sleeping dreams, headaches, erratic altered personality and can lead to osteoporosis, osteoporosis or hypertension.
Case of hypocalcemia will cause hypocalcemiasyndrome , which is seen at any age. With a mild lack of calcium, usually starting with signs such as numbness in certain parts of the body (tongue, lips, fingertips, toes), severe muscle contraction may occur throughout the body (legs, hands suddenly shrink, harden , difficulty in movement, pain, local convulsions or a certain area) and may have spasms of the respiratory muscles causing shortness of breath, easily confused with tetanus. In addition, the person may have urination, abdominal obstruction.
2. Calcium transformation of the body
The body's calcium needs vary with each age, and the absorption of calcium by each person is also different.
Calcium reserves and calcium conversion in the body are maintained steadily depending on 3 main factors: feed, drinking water; absorption of calcium from the intestines; eliminated through the kidneys.
Therefore, the daily need with a full diet must ensure the supply of about 1,000mg of calcium by eating, about 200mg of calcium will be eliminated through the bile or other digestive diseases.
Almost 99% of the calcium in the body is concentrated in the bones, mainly in the form of Hydroxyapatite crystals. Only 1% of calcium left in the bones is freely exchanged with extra-cellular translation, so it is always ready to regulate stable blood calcium levels. Normal total calcium levels in the blood usually maintain range from 8.8 to 10.4 mg/dl (2.20 – 2.60mmol/l).
3. Factors affecting the absorption of calcium by the body
When our daily diet does not provide the necessary amount of calcium, we can use calcium supplements. However, the absorption of calcium from these supplements is also influenced by many factors as follows:
- Age: For babies and young children, calcium content can absorb up to 60%. In adulthood, the rate of calcium absorption will decrease from 15-20%;
- Drinking a lot of alcohol, coffee, tea water will reduce calcium absorption;
- Smoking reduces the absorption of calcium intake and vitamin D conversion, reduces vitamin D levels in the blood;
- Foods containing phytic acid such as legumes, cereals, potatoes, strawberries, broccoli, carrots .., will combine with calcium to form insoluble calcium salts, reducing calcium absorption;
- Not enough acid in the gastric juice will reduce calcium absorption because stomach acid helps dissolve calcium for the body to absorb easily;
- Sedation of the body, stressful psychological state will reduce calcium absorption;
- Vitamin D3 deficiency is also a factor in the absorption of calcium in the body, since vitamin D3 attached to the intestinal mucosa helps to increase the absorption of calcium through the intestinal wall, acting as a calcium guide to where it should be attached to the bone system.
- Women in menopause, due to reduced estrogen levels also interfere with calcium absorption.
- Some drugs also affect calcium absorption such as steroids, tetracyclin and fluoroquinolon antibiotics.
4. How to safely supplement calcium
- Take calcium supplements
When taking calcium supplements must be prescribed by a doctor. The process of calcium supplementation, it is necessary to move so that the amount of calcium introduced into the body has time to move to the finish line is the skeleton. Therefore, drinking in the morning with plenty of water will be most effective. If taken in the afternoon or evening, it will cause calcium to settle, prolonged use causes other conditions such as kidney stones, constipation, difficulty sleeping.
- Active advocacy
Muscle movement will stimulate, promote energy metabolism, metabolism, help reduce the likelihood of losing calcium, slow down the aging process, promote body growth, increase the amount of calcium into bone tissue to help bones firmer and develop better.
- Regular sunbathing
This is a very effective measure of vitamin D synthesis. However, it should be noted when to sunbathe, do not sunbathe too much and in the harsh sun this can lead to skin cancer.
- Enhance meals with foods rich in calcium
- Milk and dairy products: Drink soy milk, cow's milk, goat's milk, cheese, yogurt….;
- Seafood: It is recommended to eat seafood such as sardines, fish and whole bone canned fish that are an excellent source of calcium. Besides, try to eat at least once a week the whole shell shrimp, snails, mussels and oysters to replenish a significant amount of calcium for the body; coffee, alcohol and salt should be cut because these substances often inhibit calcium absorption.
- Beans and bean products: Add white beans, peanuts, japanese beans, red beans and chickpeas to your weekly menu…;
- Vegetables: According to nutritionists, to enhance calcium supplements should eat vegetables, carrots, sesame, carrots, mushrooms, coriander, spoons, okra, red radishes ….
The above is the information around the importance of calcium with the development of the body as well as the mechanism of conversion of calcium in the body. Hopefully this information will be useful for us to get a better view of calcium, thereby making adjustments in nutrition to supplement calcium to suit the needs of the body.
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