Calcium, known as the knitter because it "knits" bones back together, is one of the seven essential macrominerals needed by the body. 1% of the calcium in the body is used to support critical metabolic functions. The other 99% is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function.


Calcium is needed not only for the body but also for the mind. A person considered to be "high-strung" or a person with an inferiority complex may need calcium.


You must have proper levels of vitamin D for calcium to be absorbed.



Benefits

  • Healthy bones, teeth, and gums

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Required for contraction of blood vessels

  • Required for dilating of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure

  • Aids in muscle contractions/prevents muscle cramps

  • Necessary for blood clotting

  • With vitamin D, calcium may help protect agains cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure

  • Prevents bone loss

  • Needed to activate enzymes that break down food

  • Enables protein structuring of RNA and DNA

  • Protects against preeclampsia in pregnancy

Signs of Deficiency

  • Achy joints

  • Brittle nails

  • Eczema

  • High blood cholesterol

  • Heart palpitations

  • High blood pressure

  • Insomnia

  • Muscle cramps

  • Nervousness

  • Numbness in arms and legs

  • Pale complexion

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Tooth decay

  • Cognitive impairment

  • Convulsions

  • Depression

  • Delusions

  • Hyperactivity

  • Children may not reach their full height as adults

  • Low bone mass leading to osteoporosis

Food Sources

  • Cheese

  • Milk

  • Yogurt

  • Seafood

  • Fish with edible, soft bones like sardines and canned salmon

  • Dark leafy green vegetables

  • Almonds

  • Asparagus

  • Brewer's yeast

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Collards

  • Dandelion greens

  • Figs

  • Kale

  • Oats

  • Prunes

Herbal Sources

  • Alfalfa

  • Burdock root

  • Cayenne

  • Chamomile

  • Chickweed

  • Chicory

  • Dandelion

  • Eyebright

  • Fennel seed

  • Fenugreek

  • Flaxseed

  • Hops

  • Kelp

  • Nettle leaves

  • Pau d'arco

  • White oak bark

  • Valerian root

Note

You may have difficulty absorbing calcium if you:

  • Follow a vegan diet

  • Drink water that has had flouride added to it

  • Have lactose intolerance

  • Consume a lot of protein or sodium which can cause your body to excrete more calcium

  • Are on a long-term treatment with cortiocosteriods; many other drugs block the absorption of calcium as well

  • Have inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease

  • Eat sugar, white flour products, and cocoa

Resources

  1. Hovis, B. S., ND, MH, CCII. (n.d.). Nutrition-Vitamins & Minerals. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://trinityschool.instructure.com/courses/499/pages/week-1-lecture-3-vitamins-and-minerals

  2. Office of dietary supplements - Calcium. (n.d.). Retrieved April 08, 2021, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/

  3. Are you getting enough calcium? (2020, November 14). Retrieved April 08, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097