Calcium

Functions

  • Maintains healthy bones and teeth.
  • Required for muscular activity and regulation of heartbeat.
  • Plays an important role in nerve transmission.
  • Activates enzyme systems.
  • Essential for formation of blood clot.
  • Important for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
  • May helpĀ  in preventing hypertension.

Sources

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Buttermilk
  • Tofu
  • Oily fish with bones (salmon, canned sardines)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Beans (Soya bean, navy beans, Garbanzo beans)
  • Seeds (sunflower, sesame, cumin)
  • Oatmeal
  • Figs
  • Raisin

Deficiency

  • Rickets
  • Osteomalacia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle twitching
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Tetany (contraction of muscles, causing pain)
  • Leg cramps and grinding of teeth

Toxicity

  • Excess calcium is excreted in the urine, so toxicity is unlikely.
  • Prolonged intake of high doses may cause hypocalcaemia.

Recommended dietary allowances