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Dec 01

A Story Behind Calcium

Speaker: Phoebe Yaw

 

Do you know that calcium is importance not only to kids and elderly but also all of us here especially those who are still under 30 years old. This is because calcium continues strengthening our bones until we reach the age of 30 years. After that age, the element helps bone maintenance as well as slowing down bone density loss which is a natural part of the aging process. In another way, it also means that anyone who takes inadequate of calcium before the age of 30, have a considerably higher risk later on in life developing brittle bone. However achieving adequate calcium when we are still young does not prevent bone loss later in life. Other than strengthens our bones, calcium also regulates muscle contraction, including the CONTRACTION OF OUR HEART MUSCLE CELLS. It also plays a key role in normal blood clotting WHICH IS IMPORTANT IN HEALING WOUNDS. BESIDES, IT HELPS IN the release of hormones and enzymes, as well as THE FUNCTION OF BLOOD CIRCULATION IN OUR body. Nearly all of the calcium in our body is stored in our teeth and bones, where it supports their hardness and structure.

Deficiency in calcium can cause a few diseases especially Osteoporosis or brittle bone disease where the bones are weaken by an imbalance between bone building and bone destruction. People typically lose bone as they age, especially women who account for 80% of all cases of osteoporosis. Of course, men are also at risk of developing osteoporosis, but they tend to do so 5 to 10 years later than women. It is estimated that osteoporosis will cause half of all women over age 50 to suffer a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra. Besides aging is the major cause of bone lost, too much protein or sodium may excrete Calcium(eliminate). The body needs protein to build healthy bones. But as your body digests protein, it releases acids into the bloodstream, which the body neutralizes by drawing calcium from the bones. Meanwhile, the Framingham Osteoporosis Study has found that older women who drink cola every day have lower bone mineral density than those who drink it less than once a month. This may be due to cola’s high levels of phosphorous, which may alter the dietary balance between calcium and phosphorous and thereby weaken bones. People who consume a lot of caffeine, or alcohol also have a greater risk of having low levels of calcium. There is some evidence that drinking a lot of coffee—about four or more cups per day—can increase the risk of fracture. Caffeine tends to promote calcium excretion in urine. Another not common cause is Hypocalcemia. It is a low level of calcium in the blood and it occur due to taking medications, such as diuretics; medical treatments; or disease processes, such as renal failure or hypoparathyroidism.

Now, let’s talk about how we get the calcium from. Mainly there are 3 types of source for calcium. First is from animal especially dairy products which have the highest concentration per serving of highly absorbable calcium. Beside,  lean meats, poultry, fish also contains calcium.  For those who do not eat dairy food or allergy to dairy food, you can choose other sources from plant base such as vegetables – spinach, broccoli. Beans, Nuts and seeds – pistachio, sesame, almonds, hazelnuts. The third type will be through calcium supplements. A researchers at Omaha, USA found that calcium supplements increase the risk of developing kidney stones5. Another study carried out in the University of Auckland in New Zealand found that calcium supplements may raise heart attack risk.  For bone health, an adequate intake of vitamin D is no less important than calcium. Vitamin D is found in milk and vitamin supplements, and it can be made by the skin when exposed to sunlight. But not all sunlight is created equal. Vitamin K, which is found mainly in green, leafy vegetables, likely plays one or more important roles in calcium regulation and bone formation. Low levels of circulating vitamin K have been linked with low bone density, and supplementation with vitamin K shows improvements in biochemical measures of bone health. A report from the Nurses’ Health Study suggests that women who get at least 110 micrograms of vitamin K a day are 30 percent less likely to break a hip than women who get less than that.

 

So start storing your Calcium today and let you living like 25 until you are 80 years old and beyond.

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