Opening Hours: 08.00-17.00 Mon-Fri, 08.00-12.00 Sat |
MENU

Knowledge Library

Why most people still don't get enough calcium?

Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body. Almost every cell in our body uses calcium, and it is essential for adequate bone formation and growth

1 Pages
1 Nov 2019
410

Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body. Almost every cell in our body uses calcium, and it is essential for adequate bone formation and growth. Everyone at every age needs this essential mineral each day, but most people may wonder why they don't get enough calcium, even though they already eat a lot of calcium-rich foods.

  • Why is calcium so important to the human body?

Calcium accounts for 1 to 2 percent of adult human body weight. It is the most plentiful mineral found in body tissues. Calcium is especially important for growth, development and maintenance of the tissues and cells in our bodies. It is essential not only for physical growth in children, but required at all stages of life.

  • The ideal way to get calcium is from foods

Dairy isn’t the only source of calcium-rich food. Other non-dairy foods are good sources of calcium as well, such as cereals, meat, green leafy vegetables. Making an effort to include calcium-rich foods in your daily diet will ensure you consume enough calcium.

  • Why most people still don't get enough calcium?

Many people fail to meet their recommended dietary intake, because they may not be aware of enough non-dairy sources of calcium. If you have lactose intolerance, follow a strict vegetarian diet or just don't like milk, it will be more difficult for you to get enough calcium in your diet. In some cases, consuming a lot of dairy products, does not mean that you will meet the adequate intake for calcium. This phenomenon is known as the calcium paradox which describes the link between sulfur amino acid and phosphorus ratio present in the milk. Sulfur amino acids is relatively rich in cow's milk causing increased acidity in the blood and other body tissues, which the body neutralizes by drawing calcium from the bones.

In addition, a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in milk can also decrease calcium absorption and increase the loss of calcium in bone mass due to having a high level of phosphorus (a calcium: phosphorus ratio of 1.3 to 1). Meanwhile, calcium and phosphorus in the appropriate ratio of 1–2:1 is needed for an increase of bone strength. It is not only the consumption habits, but also other bad lifestyle habits, such as consuming large amounts of caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks, lack of physical exercise, and tobacco can cause calcium deficiency. Therefore, taking a calcium supplement is generally recommended to ensure adequate calcium levels, to protect your bones and maintain overall health.

 

Reference

  1.  Flynn A. The role of dietary calcium in bone health. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2003;62(4):851-858.
  2. Fleming K, Heimbach J. Consumption of Calcium in the U.S.: Food Sources and Intake Levels. The Journal of Nutrition. 1994;124(suppl_8):1426S-1430S.
  3. Health.harvard.edu. How well does calcium intake really protect your bones? [Internet]. 2015. [cited 2019 Sep 20]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-well-does-calcium-intake-really-protect-your-bones-201509308384.
  4. Balk EM, Adam GP, Langberg VN, Earley A, Clark P, Ebeling PR, Mithal A, Rizzoli R, Zerbini CA, Pierroz DD, Dawson-Hughes B. Global dietary calcium intake among adults: a systematic review. Osteoporosis International. 2017 Dec 1;28(12):3315-24.
  5. Summer Fanous (16th May 2016) 8 Fast Facts About Calcium, Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/8-fast-facts-about-calcium (Accessed: 20th September 2019).
  6. Lanou A. Bone health in children. BMJ. 2006;333(7572):763-764.
  7. Lanham-New SA. The balance of bone health: tipping the scales in favor of potassium-rich, bicarbonate-rich foods. The Journal of nutrition. 2008 Jan 1;138(1):172S-7S.
  8. Koshihara M, Katsumata SI, Uehara M, Suzuki K. Effects of dietary phosphorus intake on bone mineralization and calcium absorption in adult female rats. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry. 2005;69(5):1025-8.
  9. Jekl V, Krejcirova L, Buchtova M, Knotek Z. Effect of high phosphorus diet on tooth microstructure of rodent incisors. Bone. 2011 Sep 1;49(3):479-84.