Calcium

Calcium (Ca) is the most common mineral in the human body. More than 99% of total body calcium is stored in the bones and teeth; the remaining 1% is found throughout the body in blood, muscle, and the fluid between cells (1).

Health Functions

Calcium is involved in maintaining healthy bones, blood vessel function and nerve impulse transmission, and the absorption of micronutrients.

Disease Risk Reduction

Osteoporosis is a bone disorder affected by many factors. With it, bone strength is considerably reduced. Osteoporosis is most prevalent among white postmenopausal women (10).

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Things to know about Calcium

  • Other Applications

    An analysis of 23 large observational studies found a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 0.34 millimeters mercury (mm Hg) per 100 mg calcium consumed daily and a reduction in diastolic blood pressure of 0.15 mm Hg per 100 mg calcium (25).

  • Intake Recommendations

    The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium is dependent on age, gender, and other factors.

  • Supply Situation

    According to nutrition surveys of five European countries, the average calcium intake is 884 mg/day for adult men, and 786 mg/day for women (43).

  • Deficiency

    Long lasting calcium deficiency may prevent optimal skeletal development, contribute to accelerated bone loss and to the development of osteoporosis.

  • Sources

    Foods high in calcium (Ca) include dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheddar cheese. Tofu is also a source of calcium.

  • Safety

    Abnormally elevated blood calcium ('hypercalcemia') has been reported only with the consumption of large quantities of calcium supplements (1.5 to 16.5 g/day), usually in combination with calcium carbonate ('antacids') and milk to treat open, painful wounds in the stomach ('peptic ulcers') (1).

  • References

    Consult the full list of scientific references.