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Calcium: The Classic Backbone of Minerals
Its atomic number is 20. Its atomic mass is 40.078 amu. That’s right. Today, we’re revealing some uncommonly known facts about a mineral classic: calcium. This soft grey alkaline earth metal is essential for all living organisms and one of the most common elements in the body when looking at bones, nerves and teeth.
Tribes of the past were known to supply babies with several wet nurses as breast milk provided calcium and a healthy start for children up to the age of three. Perhaps it is no coincidence that calcium is so plentiful. It is the fifth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust by mass.
Calcium is easily found in foods as well. Raw milk, cheese, kelp, almonds, sesame seeds, beans, carrots, collard greens, egg yolks, sardines, yogurt and caviar are just a few of the world’s excellent natural sources of the valuable mineral. Why is it so valuable? Well, the functions of calcium in the body are countless.
As stated in the writings of Lawrence Wilson, MD, author of The Calcium Shell, “Calcium helps regulate cell permeability, it’s critical for maintenance of acid-base balance and assists many other body activities as well. These include male and female hormone secretion, cell division and osmotic balance. It stabilizes cell membranes, helps muscles relax and slows nerve transmission and the heart rate.”
In addition, it helps prevent the loss of fluids from your blood cells. It plays a vital role in phosphorus metabolism and the energy production part of the krebs cycle (a series of important chemical reactions that put oxygen towards cellular respiration).
Calcium deficiency is fairly rare, but the symptoms should be known regardless. They include, but are not limited to, osteoporosis, rickets, tooth decay, high blood pressure, bruising, insomnia and poor posture.
Deficiencies should be prevented through a healthy and balanced diet or through a supplement of calcium citrate, calcium gluconate or calcium chelate. Calcium Chelate simply means that the calcium is bound to an amino acid. This form is generally better absorbed into the body, and therefore, it is healthier and more efficient. Calcium absorption is a very important aspect of being able to utilize the mineral. Oddly, most supplemental forms of calcium are absorbed poorly.
These days, people tend to actually get calcium in excess. Between milk, antacids, supplements and enriched fruit juices (most notably orange juice), there is no shortage of calcium intake, which risks an imbalance in the body. People can combat this problem by balancing their calcium with magnesium – a known calcium synergist that helps keep the mineral in solution. In fact, one should always consume calcium and magnesium as a pair. But, we’ll save magnesium for another time.
Source: The Calcium Shell by Lawrence Wilson, MD
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Minerals21 Nov 2013|