Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the body, comprising about 39% of the body’s mineral content and about 2% of the body’s weigh. Calcium is also one of the most important minerals utilized by the body because it is essential for the formation of bones and teeth. The bones store extra calcium, which the body can extract and use when too little calcium is being consumed.
About 99% of body calcium is present in bones and teeth. The remaining one percent is found in the soft tissues and body fluids. Calcium is stored in the bones as well. If the intake is not sufficient, calcium can be removed from the bones to meet other essential body needs. This may occur during pregnancy and lactation, when they calcium requirement of the body increases. The den tine and enamel of the teeth are more stable than and do not yield calcium as readily as the bones.
Calcium also exist in the blood, where the minerals helps in the formation of normal clots. In addition, calcium aids in nerve function, makes muscle contraction possible, and, along with other nutrients, helps regulate the heart beat.
Because the calcium is stored in the bones for possible future use and utilized by the body in varying amounts and in several different ways, it is sometimes difficult to determine just how much of the mineral people need each day. Most studies in this area suggest that adults should take in about 800 milligrams of calcium per day.
Children, whose bones are still forming, and pregnant women, who must supply calcium for their growing fetuses, should consume higher levels of the mineral , probably about 1.2 grams daily. Among the best food sources of calcium are milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, turnip greens, collard greens, and broccoli. For instance, one cup of whole milk contains 291 milligrams of calcium, one cup of Swiss cheese 272 milligrams, eta.
It is important to note, however, that no matter how much calcium the body take in, most of it will be unusable without a simultaneous, adequate intake of vitamin D.
Phosphorusis the second most abundant mineral in the body, making up to 22% of the overall mineral content. About 80% of the body’s phosphorus exist in the bones and teeth, while the remainder is distributed fairly evenly throughout the body’s fluids and cells. In addition to adding rigidity o the bones and teeth, phosphorus helps metabolize carbohydrates and proteins.
The mineral also helps support nerve tissues and plays an important role in the normal functioning of enzymes. As in the case of calcium, phosphorus absorption is greatly increased in the presence of vitamin D. Usually, foods Rich in protein and calcium also contain considerable amounts of phosphorus, among them, milk, cheese, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and nuts.