When we think of the role of calcium in our health, most of us equate it with strong bones. It is true that calcium is a major building block of our bones and teeth, in fact about 90% of the calcium in our bodies resides in our bone structure. But it does so much more than that! In this article, let’s take a look at the role of calcium in your body.
Calcium is so important to the body that we have an organ dedicated just to calcium levels. The parathyroid gland regulates levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. As calcium levels decrease, more parathyroid hormone is produced to bring levels back up. As calcium levels increase, the parathyroid produces less hormone. Parathyroid hormone has these important functions in relation to calcium:
- Stimulates bones to release calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream when dietary sources of calcium are too low
- Causes the kidneys to excrete less calcium in the urine and more phosphate in the blood
- Stimulates the digestive tract to absorb more calcium
- Enables the kidneys to activate more Vitamin D, allowing for better calcium absorption.
Calcium for Bone Health
When dietary calcium is too low to sustain various functions, it will be retrieved from your bones via the parathyroid hormone as mentioned above. Vitamin D, Vitamin K, magnesium, and boron are also critical to bone health. At Body in Harmony, we can help you design a supplement program or nutrition plan to best support your bone health. Contact our office today for a consultation!
Calcium for Cell Signaling and Muscle Contraction
Calcium allows nerve impulses to transmit, allowing blood vessels and muscles to contract and expand. Calcium ions are released by nerve endings and used to bind to activator proteins in your muscles, allowing the muscle to contract and relax normally. This includes the most important muscle in your body: the heart!
Calcium for Blood Pressure and Heart Health
Calcium regulates hearth rhythms, and the smooth muscle tissues found in veins and arteries are relaxed by its presence. Calcium also reduces blood pressure and controls cholesterol levels.
Calcium for Blood Clotting
Calcium and Vitamin K work together with a protein called fibrinogen to form blood clots. When blood is exposed to the air after a wound, blood platelets react with fibrinogen to create fibrin. Fibrin is essentially a mass of tiny threads, which will harden to form a scab over a wound. Being deficient in either calcium or Vitamin K could result in the inability to form clots.
Calcium for Immune Support
Calcium is one of the best anti-virals available, and as part of the Immune Triad, is essential for supporting your natural immunity. The Immune Triad consists of:
Please refer to our previous article for more on supporting your immunity and the Immune Triad. As always, we highly recommend working with a practitioner on your supplement protocol, and we are pleased to offer a 10% discount on Calcium Lactate, Immuplex, and Ribonucleic Acid for the entire month of June 2021. Contact us for your order today!
Sources of Calcium
Ideally, we would get our calcium from food sources, or from a bicarbonate supplement source. The double bond of bicarbonate results in successful absorption. Single bonds, or carbonate sources of calcium, are not easily absorbable by the body.
Good (bicarbonate) sources of calcium include:
- Raw Dairy
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Calcium Lactate – a bicarbonate source of calcium, which also contains magnesium in the preferred calcium to magnesium ratio.
Less than ideal (carbonate) sources of calcium:
- Calcium Carbonate or Citrate, Oyster Shell Calcium – the body cannot ionize, and therefore cannot absorb these types of calcium.
- Pasteurized Dairy – pasteurization breaks the bicarbonate bond, making the calcium non-absorbable.
The appropriate amount of calcium is also important. Studies show that elevated levels, mainly from supplementation, could be linked to hardening of the arteries and therefore heart disease. We recommend consultation with your healthcare professional before beginning a calcium supplementation program.
It seems more important now than ever to support your natural immunity. At Body in Harmony, we believe empowering yourself to heal is the best way to take control of your health, and calcium along with the Immune Triad is a great first step. Contact us today to schedule a consultation where we can discuss nutrition strategies to live your healthiest life!