Calcium: How Much Do We Need & Why
Calcium is a mineral required by our bodies It is a critical element for building healthy bones and teeth when we are young and for maintaining them as we grow older. In addition to forming bones, the body uses calcium (an electrolyte) to maintain the proper acid/alkaline balance (pH). When blood becomes too acidic, the body resorbs calcium and other nutrients from the bones to add more alkaline to the blood, restoring a more balanced pH. So, in this regard the bones are actually alkaline store containers which can be tapped when needed. The dissolved calcium (that which is not bone teeth) helps regulate nerve impulses and heartbeat and aids in other cell functions.
Calcium is not the only element essential for healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D is necessary to promote the absorption of calcium into the intestinal wall and bloodstream (and many of us are Vitamin D deficient because we avoid the sun or wear sunblock) and we need collagen to avoid bones that are too brittle. Milk and dairy are not the only sources of calcium so remember to include dark leafy vegetables in your diet – they are rich in calcium as well as phytonutrients.
Remember: in addition to healthy sources of calcium you need to provide bones with a healthy collage mix (animal, bean or soy) and regular exercise (including weight bearing).