What is Calcium and How Do Calcium Compounds Work
|By Katie Webb, Staff Writer on Saturday, March 3, 2012|
|Calcium combines with different molecules to provide certain benefits.
Find out more about these combinations and what they can do for you.||
Calcium is the most abundant essential mineral in the body. Calcium comprises one to two percent of the total body weight of an adult as a structural component of bones, teeth and soft tissues.Trace amounts of calcium are also present in the human circulatory system.
The amount of calcium found in the bloodstream helps facilitate functions such as bloodclotting, muscle contraction, transmission of signals between nerve cells and healthy heart rhythm. Calcium is also important for the regulation of nutrient passage through cell mambranes in the body and promotes normal kidney function and sleeping patterns.
Calcium can be obtained naturally from the food you eat or taken in supplement form. Calcium is usually paired with other minerals and vitamins in supplements for better absorption and added health benefits:
Calcium and Vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. It can also be obtained from food sources such as mushrooms, eggs and fish. Vitamin D is an important factor in the absorption of calcium from the stomach and intestines. Without a sufficient amount of vitamin D, the body will not be able to form the hormone calcitriol, which is needed to absorb calcium from the food you eat. If there is vitamin D deficiency, the body is forced to take the calcium stored in the bones to use for other essential bodily functions. This weakens the bones and may lead to bone disorders.
Calcium and Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral that also aids in the absorption of calcium in the body. Magnesium acts by suppressing the parathyroid hormone (PTH). The PTH is responsible for taking calcium from the bones and depositing it into the soft tissues. In turn, magnesium also stimulates the secretion of calcitonin, a hormone which absorbs calcium from the bloodstream and soft tissues and deposits it into the bones. The presence of magnesium ensures a healthy balance is maintained between the PTH and calcitonin levels in the system.
When there is an insufficient amount of magnesium in the system, calcium is absorbed poorly in the bloodstream and the bone, and may collect in the soft tissues. This excess calcium deposit causes a type of arthritis. The combination of calcium and magnesium ensures overall bone health and also helps prevent arthritis.
Do you know that calcium, in its purest form, is actually a metal? Since calcium is rarely found in its pure form in nature, it binds with other molecules to form calcium compounds. Calcium occurs more frequently in nature as a salt, composed of positively charged calcium particles and negatively charged variables. One example of a calcium salt is calcium carbonate. It is a combination of calcium, carbon and oxygen.
Calcium carbonate is a common calcium supplement taken by people who are not getting enough calcium from their diet to reach their daily requirement. Calcium carbonate is also an effective antacid. Because of its carbonate component, it can break down stomach acid into carbon dioxide and water, thereby relieving the discomfort from the symptoms of hyperacidity.
This calcium salt is combines citric acid and calcium. Citric acid is a substance found in fruits and vegetables. Because calcium citrate is acid based, it is extremely soluble and can be easily absorbed by the body. Calcium citrate supplements are safe to take even on an empty stomach. It boosts calcium absorption and helps fight bone loss and other symptoms of calcium deficiency.
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