It is well-said that:
“Human Skeletal System is based on bones and bones in return depend on calcium itself.”
Calcium is the vital mineral on which the strength of our body directly depends. It plays a fundamental role to make the bones strong. More than 95% to 99% of the calcium in our body is in bones that constitute the skeletal system of the human body.
- Calcium helps to build the bone
- Calcified the bone and convert them from soft to hard structure
- Maintain the strength of bones for the lifetime
- It enables the bone to maintain the proper structure and functions of the body
- Not only in providing strength, but It also helps in the movement of fore and hind limb
Biological importance of Calcium
Calcium plays a very vital role in maintaining the normal physiological body functions related to different organs rather than bones.
- It takes part in clotting of blood
- It involves the contraction of skeletal muscles
- It maintains the normal and regular heartbeats
- It plays an active role in the transmission of nerve impulse from effector organs to the brain and from the brain to a particular organ of the body
Why is Calcium required for blood clotting?
Calcium facilitates the process of blood coagulation or blood clotting by:
- Activating the blood clotting factors to initiate clot formation
- Activating thrombin from prothrombin
- Also necessary for the formation of fibrin clot
Calcium: a prominent differentiator between Soft and hard bones
When a newborn baby comes into being, his bones are so soft and light, generally termed as cartilage because they lack “Calcium”. After a few months, calcium starts to get deposits over it to make it hard and strong
What is meant by Calcification?
The deposition or accumulation of calcium in bones is called calcification. It is a normal process in children but the individual may face trouble if calcification takes place in joints and makes them stiffen thereby making difficulty in movement.
Daily Intake Of Calcium:
The concentration of calcium for daily intake varies according to age and gender. The following table will help in determining the amount for the routine intake of calcium:
- For Male of age 70 or <70 should take 1 g daily
- For the male of age 71 or >71 should take 1.2 g daily
- For Female of age 50 or <50 should take 1 g daily
- For Female of age 51 or >51 should take 1.2 g daily
Food rich in calcium
The best way to provide calcium to the body is by taking it in the form of food by natural means. Many food items that are rich in calcium should be a part of our routine diet to fulfill the overall body requirements of calcium. You can get calcium by consuming:
- Green vegetables like spinach
- Dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese
- Seafood like shrimps
Consequences Of Hypocalcemia:
Low levels of calcium are termed as Hypocalcemia. In general, it is known as calcium deficiency. It leads towards the following consequences:
The condition in which protein and mineral content of the body gets reduced is called osteopenia. It results in low density of bone and may lead to osteoporosis.
The condition in which bones become weaker and thinner and is called osteoporosis. It increases the chance of bone fracture.
Irregular Heart rhythms
The normal heart pumps and generates a heartbeat in a normal and regular pattern. However, low calcium can cause the trouble in the normal contraction of cardiac muscles resulting in irregular heart rhythms.
Low calcium levels can disturb your mental health as well as physical health.
Symptoms Of Calcium Deficiency:
Following are the symptoms of calcium deficiency:
- Back Pain
- Tooth decay
- Easy fracture of a bone
- Delayed growth
- Delay in blood clotting
- Mental confusion
Consequences Of Hypercalcemia:
If a body has an excessive level of calcium, the condition is called hypercalcemia. It can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Gastric pain
- Improper digestion
- Pain in bones
Should I Take Calcium supplements?
It is recommended to take calcium by your food, vegetables, and cereals. But in case of serious calcium deficiency, you can buy calcium supplements of the brand prescribed by your physician and pharmacist. While taking calcium supplements, the following points should be kept in concern:
- Calcium in small amount shows good absorption when taken in a dose of 0.5 to 0.6 g
- Taking Calcium with food increases its absorption so it is good to use it with food
- In case of any side effects, you can ask your physician or pharmacist to change the brand of supplement
Drugs that cause interactions with calcium
Many drugs that show interaction with calcium decrease the therapeutic value of that drug therefore cautiously given along with calcium.
- Calcium decreases the absorption of some antibiotics so calcium supplements should be used 2-4 hours before taking antibiotics.
- Calcium also decreases absorbance of bisphosphonates.
- Calcium can increase the effect of digoxin. It leads to an irregular heartbeat
Before you Leave!
So here are all those facts and basic information about calcium everyone needs to know and the beginners related to health care professions.
A student of Pharm D from University of Karachi. She has keen interest in all the attributes towards pharmacy especially community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy with an objective to make medications sound and safe. She loves to provide information about Pharmaceutical Analysis and Pharmacology in a best way so people with no medical background can understand.