Importance of Calcium [Essential Need] in Human Body

Bones and teeth comprise 99% of the total calcium in the body (1). You are not a human without bones. That is how important calcium is in the first place which is the major component of bone minerals. There are many other important body functions which makes calcium a vital need for any age groups. We cover how important calcium is for human body in this blog.

Bones give structure and strength to the human body. Calcium accounts for 1 to 2 percent of adult human body weight (2). A composite of calcium, phosphorous and Water offers strength and hardness to your bones. Stronger body has stronger bones. 

Along with bones and teeth which take up to 99% of the calcium, calcium also exists in other tissues, in extracellular fluid, blood and muscles.

Calcium in Human Body: Above and Beyond Strong Bones and Teeth

Importance of Calcium in Human Body
What are the Functions of Calcium?

Research has confirmed that calcium is involved in the following important functions.

  • Building strong bones and teeth
  • Clotting blood
  • Dilation of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure
  • Sending and receiving nerve signals 
  • Movement, squeezing and relaxing of muscles
  • Releasing hormones and other chemicals
  • Keeping a normal heartbeat
  • Sending signals inside the human body cells from brain

All of these above functions are managed by availability of adequate amounts of calcium in the body.

Any deficiency in calcium will have impact on one or more of these above functions and your health will suffer.

The human body is always in need of calcium

  • All of us need calcium for maintenance of the bones everyday at every stages of our life processes. As you age you need more and more calcium.for your bones.
  • The children don’t grow into their full height without sufficient calcium.
  • Elderly people suffer from bone fractures and osteoporosis because of lack of normal calcium level in the body. ..

.Serum Calcium Level is Always 1% and This is Vital to Body Functions

(Serum: is an amber colored liquid that separates out when blood coagulates.)

Calcium is distributed among various tissue compartments in the human body. 

Serum calcium level of 1% is always maintained to keep the body functions up. It is a small percentage but remains tightly controlled (8.4 to 9.5 mg/dL). This control does not change either with diet or with calcium deficiency in your body. Calcium can move both into and from bone matrix.

As soon as there is a small drop in calcium below this required level, there is an immediate trigger so calcium can get into the serum from bone matrix.

This amount of calcium is “borrowed” and is given back. It’s fairly easy to realize the serum calcium concentration doesn’t speak about the calcium deficit in the body.

If you are have low level of vitamin D 3, a hormone called “parathyroid hormone” production increases. This enables mobilization of calcium from bones to serum to satisfy the need of calcium level.

An example of another tight metabolic control mechanism system in the human body would be the maintenance of a normal serum glucose range in non-diabetics.

Calcium in Liver Acts as a Versatile Secondary Messenger

Calcium regulates multiple liver functions. It help regulate metabolism of carbohydrates and bile secretion.
Choleretics are substances that increase the volume of secretion of bile from the liver as well as the amount of solids secreted.

Dysregulation of calcium signaling is a hallmark of both acute and chronic liver diseases. Recent research contemplates calcium involvement in liver regeneration 4.

Calcium Improves Diabetes Mellitus (DM)

Diabetes is a pandemic affecting the life of multiple millions of people on earth.

Such patients show characteristic potassium, magnesium, phosphate, and calcium depletion.

There are consistent results supporting the use of calcium and vitamin D supplementation to reduce the risk of DM.5

Bottom line

Calcium is a vital mineral of human body. It keeps your bones and strong and hard. It helps the brain sending signals to various parts of the body. It keeps your muscles flexible. It helps the blood vessels to move blood through out the body.

Having adequate amounts of calcium in the body for the above functions described is vital. These are the amounts recommended by Institute of Medicine (IOM) sa a guideline to meet the body requirements.

Recommended Calcium Amount from Institute of Medicine (IOM) at Different Stages of Human Life

 Life-stage group                           mg/day

Infants 0 to 6 months                     200

Infants 6 to 12 months                    260

1 to 3 years old                                 700

4 to 8 years old                               1,000

9 to 13 years old                             1,300

14 to 18 years old                           1,300

19 to 30 years old                           1,000

31 to 50 years old                           1,000

51- to 70-year-old males               1,000

51- to 70-year-old females            1,200

70 years old                                     1,200

14 to 18 years old, pregnant/lactating        1,300

19 to 50 years old, pregnant/lactating            1,000

Source: Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 2010



Anusuya Choudhury

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