Published: October 18, 2013
Calcium is just one of many minerals which are essential to your health and is considered a major mineral as it is present in your body, and necessary for optimal health, in relatively large amounts.
A mineral is an inorganic element which cannot be altered in any way and once in your body, calcium remains in your body until excreted.
As with all minerals found in your body, calcium may combine with other elements to form salts, but the chemical identity of calcium is not changed. For example, calcium may combine with carbonate to form calcium carbonate (a common supplemental form of calcium), but calcium and carbonate are not in themselves altered.
If calcium was extracted and isolated from food sources and compared with calcium extracted and isolated from calcium containing rock such as dolomite, the products would be the same. Dolomite consists of calcium, magnesium and carbonate.
Calcium is required by your body in amounts measured in milligrams (mgs) and is present in a wide range of foods, both of plant and animal origin. However, there are many factors which can enhance or limit the bioavailability or digestion and absorption of calcium from food that is consumed.
While some plant foods contain large amounts of calcium, much of this calcium is not absorbed into the body.
Bone mineralization is not calcium's only function in the body and both a calcium deficiency or over consumption of calcium can adversely affect the function of the body.
When determining how much calcium a person requires it is necessary to take into account several factors which include:
- Adequate Intake
- Tolerable Upper Level
- Calcium sources
- Factors which affect calcium absorption
- Absorption rates
- Functions of calcium
- Calcium deficiency
- Calcium toxicity
- Calcium supplements
Adequate intake is the average daily amount of a nutrient that appears sufficient for health. This value is used when an RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) cannot be determined. The amounts below indicate the amount of calcium that should be obtained from food sources. Infants will obtain..........
Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth