In our bones it works permanently. Bone mass is constantly being rebuilt and old ones rejected. In order for this to work at its best, we need to get enough calcium from food. If too little calcium is ingested, bone loss is imminent. Since calcium must always be taken in large quantities, it is assigned to the group of bulk elements.
What is calcium anyway?
Calcium is an important mineral for the bone metabolism, because calcium maintains bones and teeth. It is also important for blood clotting, the stabilisation of cell walls, the muscles and the transmission of stimuli to the nervous system.
Which foods contain calcium?
Our daily requirement of calcium must be taken in through food. Unfortunately, our body cannot produce the mineral itself or store it in reserve, so we must always make sure that we consume enough calcium-containing food.
Calcium is found in both animal and vegetable foods.
These foods contain a lot of calcium:
- Cheese, whole milk and yoghurt
- Calcium-rich vegetables
- Pulses, nuts and seeds
- Mineral water
What are the functions of calcium?
The mineral calcium is indispensable for every cell of the body. The best known function of calcium is its importance for the bones and teeth, which are mainly formed from calcium compounds. Calcium is very important for the regulated functioning of muscles and nerves and indispensable for the regulation of the acid-base balance. Potassium participates in blood clotting, because the blood clotting factors only change into their active form in the presence of calcium. Calcium is also important for cell division, for energy metabolism and for stabilising cell membranes. Since calcium is involved in many processes in the human body, a certain concentration of calcium must always be available in the blood.
What are the consequences of a calcium deficiency?
The teeth are no longer resistant and the gums can recede (decalcification of teeth). Bone atrophy (osteoporosis) can occur with a persistent lack of calcium. This can lead to muscle twitches, cramps and circulatory problems. These muscle cramps can occur in the intestines and bladder area with diarrhoea, abdominal pain and a strong urge to urinate.
What symptoms can occur with calcium deficiency?
- Tingling on the skin, muscle cramps
- skin changes such as dry skin and eczema
- disorders of horn formation, recognisable by hair loss and brittle nails
- Increased bone fragility, reduction of bone density and progression of osteoporosis
- Digestive disorders and diarrhoea
- cardiovascular complaints such as heart rhythm disturbances or low blood pressure
- visual deterioration or opacity
- Mood swings, exhaustion and mental disorders such as increased excitability
- disturbed tooth development and short stature in children.
Common causes of calcium deficiency
- insufficient consumption of milk and dairy products or increased calcium requirements, especially for pregnant and nursing women and growing children
- low calcium and high phosphate diet
- eating disorders such as anorexia
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Milk and lactose intolerances
- disturbed calcium absorption from the intestine, for example gluten intolerance
- certain diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid glands
- chronic kidney diseases such as chronic renal insufficiency
Is calcium stored in the body?
Yes, it is. The bones store calcium and can release calcium into the blood when needed.
How is calcium related to vitamin D?
Calcium can only perform its function well in the body if the body has an adequate supply of vitamin D. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood, promotes the incorporation of calcium into the bones and regulates calcium metabolism.
Calcium deficiency: what to do?
If you suffer from calcium deficiency, you can try to increase your calcium deficiency by eating calcium-rich foods. In addition, calcium can be taken in the form of dietary supplements in order to achieve a higher calcium level.
In order to prevent a calcium deficiency, our vitamin owl® calcium capsules are perfect for this purpose, as they contain only pure calcium carbonate.