Calcium

Calcium

 There is more calcium in the body than any other mineral and it has several important functions.  These include:
 
helping build strong bones and teeth
regulating muscle contractions, including heartbeat 
ensuring blood clots normally

 

It is thought that calcium may help lower high blood pressure and protect against colon and breast cancer, although more evidence is needed to confirm this.

A lack of calcium could lead to a condition called rickets in children or osteoporosis in later life.

Good sources of calcium

Good sources of calcium include:

  • milk, cheese and other dairy foods
  • green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach
  • soya beans
  • tofu
  • soya drinks with added calcium

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  • nuts
  • bread and anything made with fortified flour
  • fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards

How much calcium do I need?

Adults need 700mg of calcium a day.

You should be able to get all the calcium you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much calcium?

Taking high doses of calcium (over 1500mg a day) could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea.

What does the Department of Health advise?

You should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take calcium supplements, do not take too much. Taking 1,500mg or less a day is unlikely to cause any harm.

(Source: NHS )

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