Calcium, a highly essential mineral, is required in human nutrition for several critical biochemical processes.
AdvertisementsCalcium brings about several metabolic functions like intracellular signaling, hormonal secretion, enzyme secretion, muscle contraction and nerve transmission. Skeletal system and teeth account for 99% of the calcium present in the body. Rest of the mineral is dispersed among soft tissues and blood serum. Dairy products are the best dietary sources of the mineral.
For the smooth functioning of the bone remodeling process, adequate dietary nutrition of the mineral is necessary. Postmenopausal women, due to decrease in estrogen production and intestinal absorption of the mineral, suffer loss of bone mass and develop osteoporosis. The presence of oxalic acid and phytic acid in the diet reduces the bioavailability of calcium present in the diet. Too much calcium supplementation can cause hypercalcemia, kidney stones and renal failure.
Accidental or intentional ingestion of the mineral exceeding the upper tolerance levels of 2,500 milligrams can result in hypercalcemia with symptoms like nausea, constipation, arrhythmia, confusion, polyuria, kidney stones and kidney failure. Taking high doses of alkaline supplement of the mineral or taking absorbable alkali along with calcium supplement can lead to milk-alkali syndrome with symptoms of hypercalcemia, alkalosis and renal failure.
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Current topic on nutrition deficiency diseases: Calcium nutrition.