Calcium is a fundamental mineral for the human body, being essential for muscular functions and for the healthy formation of bones and teeth, it enters our body through food consumption. Its appropriate levels can help prevent osteoporosis. The main functions are: to provide structure and rigidity to the bones, the transmission of the cerebral nerves, the contractility of the muscle and enzymes, among others.
Many people obtain the necessary calcium in their daily diet. Dairy foods and green leafy vegetables contain high levels of calcium. Women and older men may need extra calcium to keep their bones from weakening (osteoporosis).
-Types of supplements, The forms of calcium include:
*Calcium carbonate: Over-the-counter antacid products contain calcium carbonate. These sources of calcium do not cost much. Each chewable pills deliver 200 mg or more of calcium.
* Calcium citrate: This is a more expensive form of calcium. It is well absorbed on an empty or full stomach. People with low levels of gastric acid (a condition that is more common in people over 50 years of age) absorb calcium citrate more easily than calcium carbonate.
Other forms are calcium glucoside, calcium lactate, calcium phosphate. Most contain less calcium than the carbonate and citrate forms. When choosing a calcium supplement: Avoid products made from unrefined oyster shell, These may have high levels of lead or other toxic metals.
-As you take extra calcium:
* Increase the dose of your calcium supplement slowly. Your provider may recommend that you start with only 500 mg per day for a week and then slowly add more calcium.
* Try to spread the extra calcium throughout the day. DO NOT take more than 500 mg at a time. Take calcium throughout the day: It allows more calcium to be absorbed and reduces the side effects such as gas, bloating and constipation
-The total amount of calcium that adults need every day from food and calcium supplements:
19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg / day
51 to 70 years: men – 1,000 mg / day; women – 1,200 mg / day
71 years and older: 1,200 mg / day
-Secondary effects and precautions when taking supplement calcium:
*, DO NOT take more than the recommended amount of calcium without the approval of your provider.
-Try the following if you experience side effects from taking extra calcium:
* Drink more fluids. Consume foods rich in fiber. Try another form of calcium if changes in diet do not help. You should tell your provider or pharmacist if you are taking extra calcium.
Calcium supplements can change the way your body absorbs some medications. This includes certain antibiotics and iron pills. Also, you should be aware that taking too much calcium for a long period of time increases the risk of kidney stones in some people.
Until the age of 30, bones need abundant amounts of calcium to have strength at maximum levels. The lack of calcium at that age in the diet can have important consequences, the most common is osteoporosis.
-Excess of calcium
Consuming excess calcium has negative effects on health, causes constipation, people prone to excess calcium are those who consume supplements (carbonate or citrate).
Pregnant women should consume a greater amount of calcium, which should continue during breastfeeding. Pregnant teens should consume 1300 mg. Adults should consume 1000 mg as the recommended amount.
Postmenopausal women these people should look for some alternative source, like dairy products in smaller quantities, as well as vegetables. Its nutritive source is also found in yogurt or cheese, its consumption ratio varies according to age, children of 2 years of age are recommended whole milk, while for the elderly a lower level of fat. These foods are of such importance because they increase vitamin D and gastric acidity.
Not only dairy products are the main source of calcium, but it can also be found in lesser amounts in vegetables such as kale, broccoli or Chinese cabbage, as well as in fish, sardines, bread, pasta, among others, of all these foods. normally the body absorbs 30 percent, knowing that the food that is absorbed has an average higher or lower amount.
What happens if we do not assimilate calcium?
It can start a series of hormonal mechanisms which extract calcium from the bones to ensure at least 1 percent by which, if not restored with a new intake of this mineral, there will be a weakening of the bone structure.