Calcium is a mineral that’s essential for bone health. It also contributes to the function of muscles and nerves, maintains blood pressure levels, and supports blood clotting. Calcium citrate is another calcium that can be taken by mouth as part of your daily diet. This article will explore how it works and whether it improves bone health.
Calcium and bone health
Calcium is one of many abundant minerals, making up about 1% of your body weight. It’s an essential part of bone, blood, and muscle.
Calcium helps keep bones strong and healthy. When there isn’t enough calcium, it can lead to osteoporosis – a disease where bones become weak and brittle. Osteoporosis especially affects people who don’t get enough calcium from their diet or have a family history of the condition.
In children, deficiency of vitamin D can lead to rickets – where bones are not as strong as they should be because they’re not getting enough nutrients from sunlight or food sources such as oily fish (eels), salmon, or fortified spreads (butter).
Additional benefits of calcium
Calcium are important for many body functions. It helps:
Maintain normal blood pressure
Maintain normal heart rhythm
Maintain normal muscle function
Maintain normal nerve function
Help keep the heart regularly beating (cardiac muscle).
How to get enough calcium
The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults under 50 consume 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily, and those over 50 get 1,200 mg daily.
Many foods contain:
Calcium, including dairy products like yogurt and cheese.
Leafy green vegetables such as kale and collard greens.
Legumes like beans.
Fish with edible bones (such as sardines).
Fortified cereals such as Cheerios or Quaker Oats Original Instant Oatmeal Packets Original Flavor.
Orange juice fortified with calcium citrate or gluconate.
Calcium supplements are also widely available at pharmacies and drug stores. If you don’t eat many dairy products or other foods high in calcium throughout the day—or if what you eat doesn’t contain enough for your needs—you may benefit from taking a supplement containing this essential mineral.
It’s a good idea to check your calcium levels regularly. In some cases, low calcium levels can be an early sign of osteoporosis. Potassium deficiencies can also affect bone health. High calcium levels can cause kidney stones, constipation, loss of appetite, and dry skin.
If your doctor has recommended that you increase your calcium intake, take it easy. You don’t have to buy pills or supplements. Calcium citrate is an excellent source of calcium, but it’s not the only one! There are plenty of foods rich in this mineral. Ensure you consume enough calories each day (around 1,500) so they don’t interfere with mineral absorption; also, avoid taking more than 500 milligrams at once (or twice daily). Getting enough calcium will help keep bones strong while providing other benefits such as proper muscle function and weight maintenance.