Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements
What is calcium? Why do we need it?
Calcium is the most common mineral in the human body. Calcium is essential
to the growth and maintenance of strong, healthy teeth and bones. It is
also necessary for regulating the heartbeat and lowering cholesterol levels.
What are some good sources of calcium?
Dairy products and vegetables are the main sources of calcium; meat,
fish, eggs, cereal products, beans, and fruits can also be good sources.
What can happen if we don't get enough calcium?
Aching joints, dry, brittle nails, tooth decay, high blood pressure/high
cholesterol levels in the blood, and muscle cramps have all been associated
with calcium deficiencies. Perhaps the most significant potential complication
from inadequate calcium intake is bone loss, often leading to osteoporosis
and increasing the risk for bone fractures.
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calcium accretion during puberty. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Krall EA, et al. Effect
of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on bone density in men and
women age 65 and older. New England Journal of Medicine 1997:337,
- Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, et al. Calcium
carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: effects on premenstrual and
menstrual symptoms. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Baron JA, Beach M, Mandel JS, et al. Calcium supplements
for the prevention of colorectal adenomas. The New England Journal
of Medicine 1999:340(2), pp101-107.