Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is found in some foods, added to others, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids). Calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, extracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these critical metabolic functions . Serum calcium is very tightly regulated and does not fluctuate with changes in dietary intakes; the body uses bone tissue as a reservoir for, and source of calcium, to maintain constant concentrations of calcium in blood, muscle, and inter-cellular fluids
The remaining 99% of the body’s calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function . Bone itself undergoes continuous remodeling, with constant resorption and deposition of calcium into new bone.
1. it regulates the contraction of muscles, nerve conduction, and the clotting of blood. As a result, intra- and extracellular calcium levels are tightly regulated by the body.
2. Weight Management
Calcium efficiently helps in maintaining optimal body weight in both males and females. If there is any deficiency of the mineral in your diet, the body will tend to release parathyroid hormone, which in turn stimulates the bones to release it into your blood stream. This maintains the balance. On the other side, parathyroid hormone also stimulates the production of fat and prevents its break down, which can subsequently make you obese. Basically, make sure that you are taking the right amount of calcium, but not too much, so that obesity does not creep in, along with other related health hazards.
3. protects Cardiac Muscles
Calcium protects your heart muscles. Sufficient amounts of calcium can help cardiac muscles to contract and relaxant properly. It also helps the nervous system maintain the proper pressure in your arteries. If there is a calcium drop, a hormone called calcitrol is released, which contracts the smooth muscles of the arteries, thereby increasing the blood pressure. Cardiac muscles need extracellular calcium ions for contraction.
4. Reduces Premenstrual Depression
Adequate amounts of calcium lessen the symptoms of a premenstrual syndrome like dizziness, mood swings, hypertension and many others. Low levels of the mineral might trigger the release of the hormones that are responsible for premenstrual mood swings including irritability and depression .
5. Dental Care
Calcium protects your teeth by keeping the jaw bone strong and sturdy throughout your life, which in turn ensures tight fitting teeth where bacteria cannot thrive. Thus, before your teeth and gums start giving you any trouble, be sure to maintain a calcium rich diet. Its intake should be high, especially at young ages, so that your children naturally grow up with strong teeth.