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Calcium And Bones

Posted by on Friday, August 21, 2009, 12:31
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Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Our bones and teeth contain most of our calcium, while a small percentage circulates in our blood. This mineral is essential for conduction of nerve impulses, heart function and muscle contractions.

Our bones act as the bank for calcium in our body, lending it to the bloodstream if that supply runs low. Our body has a complex system in which hormones interact to keep the calcium level in our blood within a narrow range. This means, that despite locker room stories, cramps in your muscles are not from a lack of calcium.

A great deal of attention has been focused on calcium in our diets of late, because of osteoporosis or brittle bones. Osteoporosis, or loss of bone mass, affects approximately 24 percent of women over 50 years of age. It develops slowly over many years and the key to control is prevention.

The person at high risk is typically a postmenopausal, white female of slight build. Contributing lifestyle factors that can further increase risk include high intakes of alcohol, caffeine and protein, smoking and little or no weigh bearing exercise. These act either by reducing calcium absorption into the body, or increasing calcium loss from the body.

Osteoporosis is a complex metabolic process that has also been associated with an inadequate intake of calcium throughout the bone building years, which extend into the fourth decade. It is important to note, however, that diet does not stand alone in the prevention of this condition, but certainly is a significant factor.

It is interesting to note that osteoporosis is a disease that affects men as well, although it occurs less frequently in males because of their larger bone mass. Ensuring ans adequate calcium intake may also help lower blood pressure, helping to correct a condition that occurs with equal frequency both men and women.

The most absorb able calcium comes from food, particularly milk and diary products. Salmon, sardines, tofu, calcium fortified soy beverages, almonds and sunflower seeds are also calcium rich. Calcium supplements are widely available, but should be used with care.

The decision to take a supplement should be made jointly with a physician and a dietitian, after your current dietary intake has been evaluated. I recommend calcium rich food as the first preventive element against osteoporosis, combined with regular weight bearing activity, such as walking or jogging.

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1 Response to “Calcium And Bones”

  1. […] Calcium And Bones | Cure Pages curepages.com/calcium-and-bones – view page – cached Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Our bones and teeth contain most of our calcium, while a small percentage circulates in our blood. This mineral is essential for conduction of nerve impulses, heart function and muscle contractions. — From the page […]

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