Calcium is not only a vital element, but also, perhaps, the most abundant mineral in our body: it contains 1-1.5 kg, while it is present in almost every cell, including the cells of the heart, nerves and muscles.
In the human body, calcium is found in three main locations:
1) in the bones of the skeleton (about 99% of our bones are for us a "reservoir" of calcium);
2) in cells;
3) in the blood, which delivers calcium to the organs and tissues of the body and exactly to those places where it is needed.
In childhood, calcium is necessary for the correct formation of the skeleton and normal growth of the body, at the age of 15-20 years, the growth of bones in length stops, but there is an accumulation of bone mass, that is, the bones thicken, and this process reaches its maximum at about 20-25 years. The density of our bones at this time is determined, in part, by whether we consumed enough calcium in childhood and adolescence. The higher the peak bone mass, the less likely our bones will become thinner and more fragile over time.
Bones in our body are "living" because bone tissue is constantly renewing itself. Despite sufficient strength and flexibility, they are still constantly exposed to microtraumas, so there are mechanisms for removing damaged and creating new bone tissue. This two-step process is called bone remodeling. Remodeling is a natural, ongoing process that takes place every three to four months in healthy adults.
As we age, changes occur in our bodies that make it especially important to get adequate calcium intake. The process of bone remodeling changes: our body is not able to repair bone as quickly as before. After 30-35 years, bone mass in women decreases by about 10%, and in men by 5%. This decrease is imperceptible, but after 50 years it is observed in many people. With age, with an improper lifestyle and an unbalanced diet, the bone structure weakens, bone porosity develops, which causes "bone pain". Many people take these pains for "salt deposition" or rheumatic pains, in fact - these are the first signs of a decrease in bone mass or its thinning.
Calcium is vital for pregnant women. Remember the common myths that the expectant mother's teeth break and fall out, that the most favorite dish in the diet is chalk (not counting pickles), and other fantasies about radical calcium deficiency? But at the root they have a real rationale: if the unborn child lacks calcium, he will take it from the mother's body - from bones and teeth. The fact is that the growing fetus needs calcium in very large quantities - both for the growth of bones and teeth, and for the formation of the nervous system, heart and muscles, regulation of the heart rate and blood coagulation, for the development of all tissues of the child, including nerve cells. internal organs, skeleton, tissues of eyes, ears, skin, hair and nails. And for the expectant mother, calcium is useful - it eliminates the discomfort of a pregnant woman (muscle pain, palpitations), and also helps prevent osteoporosis and caries, is necessary for the full functioning of the kidneys and actively affects the level of blood cholesterol. If there is not enough calcium in the body, this can lead to fetal growth retardation, and the mother may develop toxicosis and various disorders associated with the work of the cerebral vessels.
Calcium is especially important for women during menopause, as its absorption
slows down as the level of estrogen (female sex hormones) decreases. In addition, calcium is less absorbed as we age.
Our bodies have a system for maintaining a constant concentration of calcium in order to ensure its supply as needed.
This is possible in three ways:
• Calcium is absorbed directly from food intake. This is the most preferred method for obtaining calcium.
• Calcium comes from the bones in the event that it is not enough in the diet. In these cases, the bones can become thinner and more fragile.
• Reduces the amount of calcium re-entering the blood after "processing" it by the kidneys.
The upper permissible level of calcium intake is set at 2500 mg per day
The main task is a sufficient intake of calcium from food for the normal supply of all organs and tissues. In other words, we need to get enough of this mineral so that its losses do not exceed its consumption. This balance is important, since its violation can lead to the progressive leaching of the missing amount from the bones, in addition, a decrease in the concentration of calcium in the blood is fraught with dysfunctions of the nervous system. With an excess of calcium in the body, it is deposited in various organs and tissues.
The easier calcium is absorbed, the better it will be used by our body. The most significant and complete sources of calcium are milk and dairy products. The source of calcium is many fish products. There is little calcium in bread, flour products and cereals, there is little of it in peas, moreover, it is poorly absorbed from these products.
Some foods - for example, cereals, sorrel, spinach - slow down the absorption of dietary calcium. They contain phytic or oxalic acids, which, as a result of interaction with it, form insoluble salts - phytates and oxalates - so the absorption of calcium is difficult. So be sure to consider food compatibility when cooking.
Eggshells are an ideal source of calcium, especially quail eggs. It is 90% calcium and is very easily absorbed by the body. The method of using eggshells is very simple. The shells are thoroughly washed beforehand and heated in the oven to kill microbes. Then, in a mortar, the shell is ground into powder and lemon juice is added. Take 1 tsp. in a day.
Calcium is difficult for our bodies to absorb. Excess phosphorus in food and in the body significantly impairs the absorption of calcium. Therefore, it is important that the phosphorus content in the diet does not exceed calcium by more than 1.5-2 times. Likewise, a high dietary intake of magnesium affects calcium absorption. The optimum ratio of these elements is approximately 1: 0.5. Reduces the absorption of calcium excess potassium, excess or lack of fat in the diet.
Vitamin D increases calcium absorption by 30-40%. The simplest and most natural way to obtain vitamin D is by secreting it by the body itself when exposed to sunlight. You need 15 minutes of sun exposure during the summer (even if only your face, arms and hands are exposed to the sun) to significantly increase vitamin D production.
In winter, when solar activity is low, the secretion of vitamin D in the skin stops from the beginning of October to the end of March. If we are at home all the time and are rarely on the street, then we cannot get vitamin D. In order to make up for this deficiency, we need to get it additionally from food - raw egg yolk, dairy products, cheese (cottage cheese), butter , fish liver, seafood. The largest amount of vitamin D is found in the liver of cod and halibut, herring, mackerel, tuna, mackerel.
You can't talk about calcium and not say a word about the importance of physical activity for the skeletal system. Exercise has a positive effect on the skeletal system and bone remodeling by helping to stimulate bone formation.
Small daily losses of calcium in the urine are a natural process, but its excretion is enhanced by the consumption of excess amounts of salt, caffeine and protein, as well as by smoking.
Caffeine, found in many beverages, including coffee, tea, and cola, enhances urinary excretion of calcium. It is believed that 2-3 cups of coffee a day may not do much harm or affect your daily calcium intake, but if you drink more than three cups a day, you should drink at least a glass of milk for every extra cup of coffee. ... Keep in mind that the less calcium you consume, the more serious harm you do to yourself by drinking coffee.
So, the main measures for preventing osteoporosis are combining adequate calcium intake and physical activity, and quitting smoking.
If the problem of osteoporosis has already affected you, then taking calcium supplements becomes inevitable. In this case, it is important to choose the right drug.
You can choose a suitable Biotin by going to the page by clicking on the "FIND OUT MORE" button at the beginning of this page