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Introduction: Calcium deficiency can manifest as bone loss disorders, tooth decay, depression and hypertension. Calcium can be decreased with vitamin D deficiency, high fat diets, high oxalate intake, fast motility in digestive tract, psychological stress, decreased acid in the stomach, and some medications.

Function:

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, with 99% residing in bones and teeth. As a component of hard tissues, Calcium fulfills a structural role to maintain body size and act as attachments for musculoskeletal tissues. The remaining 1% of calcium is present in blood and soft tissues. Functions of non-skeletal Calcium include: enzyme activation, second messenger roles (transmitting hormonal information), blood clotting, cell and cell organelle membrane function (stabilization and transport), nerve impulse transmission, and muscular contraction, tone, and irritability. Calcium levels in the blood are maintained within very strict limits by dietary intake, hormonal regulation, and a rapidly exchangeable pool in bone tissue.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • Increased muscular and nervous irritability
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle cramps, and tetany
  • Tooth decay
  • Periodontal disease
  • Low Mood & Depression
  • Chronic calcium deficiency manifests as bone loss disorders
    • osteoporosis, osteomalacia in adults, rickets in children tooth decay, periodontal disease, depression, and possibly hypertension.

Uses:

  • Pain: Alongside vitamin D, has shown benefit in people with chronic headaches
  • Cardiovascular: Optimal calcium status reduces vasoconstriction
  • Calcium also increases sodium excretion which can be helpful for salt sensitive hypertension
  • Metabolism: Calcium helps to oxidize (burn) fat cells and inhibits the formation of fat cells

Those at risk for Calcium deficiency include:

  • Malnourishment
  • Malabsorption
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases
  • Bone Loss Disorders
  • Those on Prednisone

Recommended Food sources: Tahini Paste, Canned Salmon