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Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Power of Calcium in Human Body!


The Power of Calcium

Calcium is an element founds in bones, shells and limestone, among
other materials. Calcium, along with vitamin D, helps build and
maintain healthy bones and teeth. In addition, calcium:
*helps lower blood pressure and control heartbeat *helps regulate
muscle contractions *plays a role in blood clotting *prevents fatal
bleeding from breaks in the walls of blood vessels *maintains cell
membranes *aids in the absorption of vitamin B12 *activates enzymes
such as lipase, the fat-splitting enzyme

Your bones furnish reserves of calcium to keep plasma constant at all

Dairy products are the preferred sources of calcium. Children need 3
servings a day whereas pre-teens, teens and older adults need four
servings a day. The following foods provide about 400 milligrams of

*Sardines with bones -- 3 1/2 ounces *Yogurt, plain low-fat with milk
solids added -- 1 cup *Yogurt, plain nonfat -- 1 cup *Tofu processed
with calcium salts (content of tofu varies widely so consult label)
*Cafe latte -- 12 ounces

300 milligrams of calcium:
*Milk -- 1 cup, any kind *Yogurt -- 1 cup *Cheese -- 1 1/2 to 2
ounces *Part-skim ricotta cheese -- 1/2 cup *Salmon, canned with
bones -- 6 ounces *Collard greens -- 1 cup cooked frozen *Soy milk --
1 cup, varies with brand *Fortified orange juice -- 1 cup

200 milligrams of calcium:
*Cheese -- 1 ounce (cheddar, part skim mozzarella, provolone, process
American or swiss) *Ice cream or ice milk -- 1 cup *Turnip greens or
kale -- 1 cup cooked *Cheese pizza -- one slice

100 milligrams of calcium:
*Cottage cheese -- 3/4 cup low-fat or creamed *Broccoli -- 1 cup
cooked, frozen *Navy or pinto beans -- 1 cup cooked *Taco -- one
small *English muffin -- 1 *Almonds -- 1/3 cup *Figs, dried -- 4
*Frozen yogurt -- 1/2 cup

50 milligrams of calcium:
*Black beans or lima beans -- 1 cup cooked *Clams,canned -- 2 ounces
*Shrimp -- 3 ounces canned or 4 1/2 ounces fresh, steamed *Hamburger
bun -- 1 *Orange -- 1

Most adults need 1,000 milligrams a day; adults over 50 need 1,200
milligrams. Children and adolescents need 1,300 milligrams to build
and grow strong bones and calcium stores. Pregnant and breast-feeding
women need only the amount recommended for their age. Most Americans
do not get enough calcium in their diets, especially women.

When calculating the amount of calcium you get in your diet, keep in
mind that certain dietary factors, lifestyle characteristics, medical
conditions and medications can affect the absorption or excretion of
calcium in your body. For example:

Calcium from foods rich in oxalates (such as spinach, sweet potatoes
and beans) or in phytates (such as whole wheat bran, beans, nuts and
soy isolates) may be absorbed poorly. Protein and sodium in foods
boost the amount of calcium excreted in urine, while phosphorus an
vitamin D reduce the amount excreted in urine. Caffeine reduces the
absorption of calcium. Cigarette smoking may decrease the absorption
o calcium. Diseases such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes, and
medicines such as corticosteroids and glucocorticoids reduce the
absorption of calcium, and increase the amount excreted in urine.
Alcohol in moderation does not appear to adversely affect calcium

If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, you should take a
supplement. They do not provide the same overall nutrient benefits as
foods, however. If you do take calcium supplements, follow these

If you take high amounts, be sure to get at least 18 milligrams of
zinc per day, too. Avoid supplemental calcium from sources such as
dolomite, oyster shell and bonemeal, which may be contaminated with
lead or arsenic. Take supplements with meals, and spread the daily
dosage out over several meals instead of taking it all at once. Read
labels carefully; not all supplements contain the same amount of
calcium. Supplements made from calcium carbonate have the most; 40
percent of the pill is the calcium itself. This number drops to 38
percent for pills made with calcium phosphate, to 21 percent for
pills with citrate, and to 13 percent for lactate and 9 percent for
gluconate. So you would have to make many more calcium lactate pills
than calcium carbonate pills to get the same amount of calcium.

A calcium intake of up to 2,500 milligrams is safe for healthy
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