When we think of calcium, bone health is usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, calcium’s benefits go far beyond helping to build and maintain a strong skeletal structure. Calcium is also needed to regulate heart rhythms, aid in muscle function, regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and is involved in numerous nerve signaling functions, and much more.
Certain research is now suggesting that calcium, in combination with vitamin D, may have the ability to help protect against cancer (though studies in this field show mixed results!), diabetes and heart disease too—three of the biggest threats to our health in most of the developed world.
Calcium is the most present mineral in the body and stored mostly in the bones and teeth (up to 99% of our calcium is found in bones and the teeth, mostly in the form of calcium deposits, with the other remaining 1% being stored throughout bodily tissue).
Health Benefits of Calcium
- Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth
- Calcium contribute to normal muscle function
- Calcium is required for healthy growth and a healthy development of the bones in children
- Calcium contributes to normal blood clotting
- Calcium contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism
- Calcium contributes to normal neurotransmission
- Calcium contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes
- Calcium has a role in the process of cell division and specialisation
However, the right quality and quantity is critical, as is understanding interactions with other minerals and vitamins. For example, it is important to note that magnesium is key to calcium absorption. Magnesium and calcium work in a very special relationship with each other in the body. Many times, if you have a calcium deficiency or imbalance, then you also may have a magnesium deficiency — and often a magnesium deficiency can be a precursor to later calcium issues, because of this affect on calcium uptake.
Good food sources of calcium in include sardines, kefir, raw milk and raw milk cheese, white beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, okra, collard greens, almonds, natto and goats cheese. Another good way to increase your calcium intake is through whey protein.
Children, adolescent girls, and postmenopausal women are at the highest risk for calcium deficiency. As dairy products are one of the most common sources of calcium, individuals who are lactose intolerant or who do not eat dairy for ethical reasons (like vegans and some vegetarians) can also be at an increased risk. Additionally, people with digestive disorders (that make it hard to break down and use calcium) are also at a higher risk for deficiency.
A calcium deficiency can result in symptoms and illnesses including:
- Brittle, weak bones
- Bone fractures
- Problems with proper blood clotting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Delays in children’s growth and development
- Heart problems involving blood pressure and heart rhythms
Given the importance of good magnesium vs. calcium levels, we are offering a combination product only, providing both minerals in a 2 / 1 ratio.
Taking more calcium than you actually need is not beneficial and can actually likely do you harm. Very high levels of calcium can cause symptoms including nausea, bloating, constipation (especially calcium carbonate), dry mouth, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, confusion, kidney stones. If you are uncertain about the right dosage for you, from food or supplements, we recommend to consult with a health practitioner or nutritionist of your choice.