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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Calcium - Health Benefits

Calcium plays a critical role in physical health, mood, and overall brain functioning. Calcium is particularly effective in helping to prevent osteoporosis and other health problems when taken in conjunction with vitamins and minerals that aid its absorption and overall efficiency.
Signs of a calcium deficiency include muscle cramps, insomnia, poor growth, growing pains, teeth and gum problems, weak muscles, painful joints and arthritis.

Natural Sources for Calcium :
The foods highest in calcium (at least 275 mg per serving) are:
* Milk
* Swiss cheese
* Plain yogurt
* Sesame seeds
The next-best calcium sources, with 165 mg of calcium or more per serving, are:
* Other cheeses
* Flavoured yogurt
* Sardines
* Canned salmon
Other calcium sources (55 mg or more per serving) include:
* Cottage cheese
* Canned or cooked legumes such as beans
* Certain dark leafy greens (such as turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, and broccoli)
* Cooked oysters and scallops
* Almonds
* Sunflower seeds
Children are constantly growing and sufficient calcium is vital to healthy growth. Bones rely on calcium to become strong and stay strong and children that have a deficiency of Vitamin D or calcium can become seriously ill with diseases like rickets. Therefore, a vitamin supplement for children is also recommended, one that contains significant calcium and Vitamin A, B, C, D, and E, along with other crucial minerals for maximum growth support.
- Calcium’s ability to lower cholesterol has been known for several years. People who live in areas with hard water are known to have a lower incidence of death and complications from cardiovascular disease than those who drink soft water, and it is believed that calcium may have something to do with this. Calcium supplements have been shown to strengthen bones, and in some studies, have been shown to slightly reduce blood pressure. Lowering cholesterol levels is the most recent finding, but studies are mixed about whether or not it really works.
- Calcium helps keep the weight off.
- Calcium protects your heart.
- Calcium improves premenstrual moods.
- Calcium protects against colon cancer.
- Calcium is also needed for proper nerve transmission and development of the nervous system.

Owing to the advantages of calcium, the market today is flooded with innumerable kinds of calcium supplements including calcium carbonate, calcium gluconate, calcium citrate, calcium citrate malate, calcium lactate and calcium phosphate. Calcium helps to ensure that your teeth are strong and thus prevents dental problems from torturing you.

The Recommended Adequate Intake by the IOM for Calcium is:
0-6 months - 210 mg/day
7-12 months - 270 mg/day
1-3 years - 500 mg/day
4-8 years - 800 mg/day
9-13 years - 1300 mg/day
14-18 years - 1300 mg/day
19-50 years - 1000 mg/day
51+ years - 1200 mg/day

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