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Calcium - Too Much of a Good Thing ?

Calcium is a critical mineral for human well-being and a healthy, pain free lifestyle. Calcium  increases bone strength and its ability to move joints and carry out other functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.

However, even a life-enhancing nutrient such as Calcium can be harmful to your health. Excessive intake is the most common form of its misuse.

In a recent study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) of 400,000 middle-aged adults between the ages of 50 and 71 for more than 12 years researchers found that men who had taken over 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day had 20% higher chance of dying due to heart-related problems. It was published in the Journal of American Medical Association last month (JAMA). "It is possible that calcium buildup in arteries and veins may affect cardiovascular risks in some people", said the study. Another study from New Zealand in 2010 also struck a cautionary note. Published in the British Medical Journal, it said: "Calcium supplements with or without Vitamin D modestly increase the risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction (heart attack)."  

The best advice is to check your Calcium deposit through a blood test for indications of deficiency. 

The amount of calcium you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg):

 

Life Stage Recommended Amount Birth to 6 months 200 mg

 

Infants 7–12 months 260 mg

 

Children 1–3 years 700 mg Children 4–8 years 1,000 mg Children 9–13 years 1,300 mg

Teens 14–18 years 1,300 mg

Adults 19–50 years 1,000 mg

Adult men 51–70 years 1,000 mg Adult women 51–70 years 1,200 mg Adults 71 years and older 1,200 mg Pregnant and breastfeeding teens 1,300 mg Pregnant and breastfeeding adults 1,000 mg .

CALCIUM-RICH FOODS

Milk, Fish, Kale, Broccoli and Calcium-enriched cereals. Unfortified grains, while not by themselves a great source of calcium add a significant amount because of the quantity in which they are consumed, such as bread and pasta.

EXERCISE AND WALKING AID CALCIUM BUILD UP

Walking and briskwalking stress your bones--it is an ideal way to build up bone density and increase calcium in your body.