Calcium Deficiency

Written by Jenni Wiltz
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Calcium deficiency is a serious problem since calcium is the body's most plentiful mineral. Most children learn in grade school that calcium is found in dairy products and is important for building strong bones and teeth. What we don't learn until later is that a calcium deficiency can leave us unprepared for the effects of old age, like brittle bones and heart disease.

Most people do not get enough calcium from the food they eat; in addition, many of the foods we like to eat the most actually cause our body to lose calcium. When the body needs it, it can remove calcium from our bones the way we remove water from lakes and reservoirs. If we don't put this calcium back into our bodies, we're leaving ourselves at risk for calcium osteoporosis and other harmful bone problems.

How Do You Know You Have a Calcium Deficiency?

A common bond between people who lack the appropriate amount of calcium is an overindulgence in soft drinks. Sodas actually reduce the amount of calcium in your body, leaving young children at risk of developing weak and unhealthy bones. Other foods that can inhibit calcium absorption are bran, raw vegetables, and alcohol.

Many antacids now come fortified with calcium; this is because before they supplemented the medicine, the aluminum it contained inhibited the absorption of dietary calcium. Stress can also decrease your calcium level--it can remove magnesium from cells and pull out calcium from our bones with which to replace it. If you detect symptoms of a deficiency (such as craving cheese, milk, or any other calcium rich food product), you should immediately begin taking a calcium-rich supplement to ensure you are getting enough of this valuable mineral.

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