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Monday, January 24, 2011

What do you know about Calcium ?

[Extracted from the web page of www.vitamins-nutrition.org]

Overview

Calcium is found in several forms including calcium citrate and calcium gluconate. It is the most abundant mineral in the human body. While an average man contains about 1-1/2 kg of calcium, an average woman has about 1 kg, where 99 percent of that is in bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent is located in the blood, lymph and other body fluids, cell membranes and structures inside cells.

Calcium participates in the metabolic functions necessary for normal activity of nervous, muscular, skeletal systems and plays an important role in normal heart function, kidney function, blood clotting, and blood-vessel integrity. Additionally, it helps to utilize vitamin B-12. It is available in both natural and synthetic sources, and some forms are only available by prescription.

How This Mineral Works in Your Body ?
  • Helps fight osteoporosis
  • Treats calcium depletion in people with hypoparathyroidism, osteomalacia, rickets
  • Used medically to treat tetany (severe muscle spasms) caused by sensitivity reactions, cardiac arrest, lead poisoning
  • Used medically as an cure to magnesium poisoning
  • Prevents muscle or leg cramps in some people
  • Promotes normal growth and development
  • Builds bones and teeth
  • Maintains bone density and strength
  • Buffers acid in stomach and acts as antacid
  • Helps regulate heartbeat, blood clotting, muscle contraction
  • Treats neonatal hypoglycemia
  • Promotes storage and release of some body hormones
  • Lowers phosphate concentrations in people with chronic kidney disease
  • Helps reduce blood pressure in certain people
  • May aid reduce possibility of kidney stones
  • May ease leg cramps
  • Potential treaent for toxemia in pregnant women
  • May reduce the threat of colon cancer
  • Anyone with inadequate caloric or dietary intake or increased nutritional requirements or those who do not like or consume milk products
  • People allergic to milk and dairy products
  • People with untreated lactase deficiency who avoid milk and dairy products
  • People over 55 years old, especially women
  • Women throughout adult life, especially during pregnancy and lactation, but not limited to these times
  • Those who abuse alcohol or other substances
  • People with a chronic wasting illness �
  • Those under additional stress for extended periods of time
  • Anyone who has recently undergone surgery
  • People with bone fractures
  • Adolescents with low dietary calcium consumption
Where This Mineral is Found ?
  • Almonds
  • Kelp
  • Kale
  • Brazil nuts
  • Milk
  • Broccoli
  • Pudding
  • Calcium-fortified Salmon, canned
  • Canned fish with bones
  • Cereal, rice, juice
  • Sardines, canned
  • Caviar
  • Tofu
  • Cheese
  • Turnip greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Figs, dried
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cauliflower
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Baked beans, canned
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Soybeans
  • Crab meat, canned
How to Use ?
Take tables whole with a full glass of water or other liquid. Do not chew or crush the tablet. Take with meals or 1 to 1-1/2 hours after meals unless otherwise advised by your physician.
Chew chewable tablets well before swallowing.

Calcium is also available as carbonate, citrate, gluconate, and it has varying levels of bioavailability.

Daily recommended intakes

Men 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg
(over 55) 1200 mg

Women 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg
(over 55) 1200 mg

Pregnancy 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg

Lactation 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg

Cautions
  • Do not take if you have:
  • Allergies to calcium or antacids
  • High blood-calcium levels
  • Sarcoidosis


Consult your doctor if you have

  • Kidney disease
  • Chronic constipation, colitis, diarrhea
  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart problems or high blood pressure for which you are taking a calcium channel blocker
Over 55
  • The likelihood of adverse reactions and side effects is greater
  • Diarrhea or constipation are especially likely
Pregnancy

You may need extra calcium while pregnant. Speak with your physician about taking supplements. Do not take super doses.

Breastfeeding

The drug does pass into milk. Speak with your physician about taking supplements. DO not take super doses.

Storage
  • Keep in a cool and dry location and away from direct light, but do not freeze.
  • Keep safely away from children
  • Do not keep in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and dampness may alter the action of the mineral.
Safe dosage

It is advised that you consult with your physician for the proper dose for your condition

Others
  • Do not take calcium within 1 or 2 hours of meals or ingestion of other medications, if possible.
  • It is not recommended that you take calcium carbonate derived from oyster shells.
  • Dolomite and bone meal are probably not safe sources of calcium because they contain lead.
Symptoms of Deficiency

Osteoporosis (late symptoms) :
  • Frequent fractures in spine and other bones
  • Deformed spinal column with humps
  • Loss of height
  • Leads to nerve and bone disorders
  • May lead to high blood pressure
  • May cause pre-eclampsia of pregnancy
  • May contribute to colon cancer
Osteomalacia :
  • Frequent fractures
  • Muscle contractions
  • Convulsive seizures
  • Muscle cramps

Overdose

Signs and symptoms : What to do :

Confusion, slow or irregular heartbeat, bone or muscle pain, nausea, vomiting -> Discontinue mineral use and consult your physician immediately

Heart damage :-> Discontinue mineral use and consult your physician immediately
(signs and symptoms of toxicity have not been viewed, even at doses of 2 to 3 grams/day).


Side Effects:
Signs and symptoms  : What to do

Early signs of too much calcium in blood:

Constipation : Increase fluid consumption. Discontinue use of mineral. Call your physician when
convenient.

Headache : Discontinue use of mineral. Call your physician when convenient.

Late signs of too much calcium in blood

Confusion : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.

Muscle or bone pain : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.

Nausea or vomiting : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.

Slow or irregular heartbeat : Seek emergency treaent.

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