Calcium the universal deficiency - The Tiny Secret

Calcium the universal deficiency

We all hate the commercial break during our favourite movies. During that not-so-2 minute advertisement break. Almost all food products in the market promoted calcium as their star ingredient from our favourite cheese to the health powders.

Milk and dairy products have traditionally been advocated as calcium powerhouses and most advertisements depict that regularly drinking a glass of milk is a solution to making your bones healthier, so is just a glass of milk enough? Approximately 90% of the 3.5 billion individuals who are at a risk of insufficient calcium consumption, live in Africa and Asia.

Many South and East Asian countries, including India, have considerably lower average dietary calcium consumption than Western countries. Dietary calcium consumption in rural, tribal, and urban India has decreased during the last half-century.

Although India is the world’s greatest producer of milk, there is a severe lack of calcium in the diet, which has a detrimental impact on bone health.

Our bones and teeth contain 99 % of the calcium in our bodies. Bones constantly remodel, grow, or repair themselves, and this requires a significant amount of calcium. Calcium’s advantages for bone strength are its most well-known advantages but there is so much more to calcium. Muscle, neuron, and vascular tissues all use serum calcium for vital metabolic processes like intracellular communication and preserving normal hormone levels which are most often overlooked

So what is calcium deficiency and how is it caused?

Calcium insufficiency is a condition in which calcium is inadequate or is not efficiently used. 
Hypocalcemia, or calcium shortage illness, is a worldwide health issue. People all across the world just do not receive enough calcium from their diets. Now that we know hypocalcemia is all-too-real, it is important for us to know what causes the same. This insufficiency might be caused by a number of reasons, including:

● 
Long-term calcium deficiency:

This is the primary cause for calcium deficiency. So how do we know how much calcium is enough?
 Calcium is very specific to age and gender so following RDA is a way to track one’s requirements.

 Dietary Intolerance:

People who have lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy miss out on an entire calcium-rich food group as 
this occurs when the body is unable to digest lactose, the sugar in milk, or the proteins in milk and may struggle to obtain enough dietary calcium

● 
Age:

Age plays a key role in calcium absorption. Infants and children absorb up to 60% of the calcium they 
ingest. However, after reaching maturity, the absorption gradually declines to roughly 15-20%. For such individuals, it is recommended to take supplements along with vitamin D.

● 
Hormonal changes, particularly in women:

Women lose bone density more quickly during menopause due to a decrease in estrogen. 
Postmenopausal women have around one-tenth the estrogen levels of premenopausal women.

● 
Prescription drugs:

Certain drugs, through interfering with the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients, may reduce calcium 
absorption. Low calcium and vitamin D levels have been observed when ingesting medicines such as lipid-lowering statins, diuretics, anticonvulsants, and corticosteroids.

● 
Vegan diet:

Vegans are more likely than non-vegans to have calcium deficiency. It is well acknowledged that dairy 
products are rich providers of calcium, putting vegans at a danger of insufficiency.

 Absence of Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 or Magnesium:

Vitamin D is known to increase absorption of calcium. Vitamin D’s primary role in calcium homeostasis is 
to improve calcium absorption from the gut. Magnesium plays a role in influencing bone formation and fragility, as well as calcium metabolism and calcium-regulating hormones. Talk about being important, K2 is not present in leafy greens like K1 and is only found in trace levels in eggs and cheese. Its primary function is to control calcium deposition. In other words, vitamin K2 removes calcium deposits from the arteries and transports them to the bones. Therefore, consumption of these supporting vitamins and minerals is equally important to get all the calcium benefits.

Effect of Calcium deficiency on other organs or biochemical processes

Heart health:

During a typical person’s lifespan, the heart beats more than 2 billion times to pump blood. 3 billion 
heart muscle cells that contract during each heartbeat are responsible for the pumping function of the heart. The heart employs an electrical signal that travels from cell to cell to ensure that each cell contracts at the right time. The relationship between electrical activation and mechanical contraction is caused by calcium particles.

Blood clotting:

The clotting process is very complex and has several steps. These steps involve a range of chemicals 
including calcium which is responsible for complete activation of several coagulation factors.

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