¿QUÉ ES EL CALCIO Y CUÁL ES SU IMPORTANCIA?

Osteoporosis - 19 de Ago, 2019

El calcio, de símbolo químico Ca, es el mineral más abundante del cuerpo humano. Se encuentra presente en un 99% en huesos y dientes. El 1% restante se divide entre tejidos blandos y fluidos corporales. Tal es su importancia que supone alrededor del 2% del peso corporal total, lo que se traduce como 1.2 kilogramos en edad adulta [1].

Calcium, along with other minerals, is part of the essential micronutrients for the body, like vitamins, so they must be ingested through food. The main source of calcium is dairy, which provides between 40% and 60% of the daily requirement [2]. The rest is obtained through legumes, vegetables and fish. Get to know the complete list in “Foods with calcium ”.Alimentos con calcio.

FUNCTIONS OF CALCIUM

Calcium fulfills two roles in the body: skeletal and regulatory.

SKELETAL

Our bones are mostly made up of calcium, phosphate and magnesium, hence the importance of maintaining a correct dietary intake of Ca, as well as phosphorus and vitamin D. The latter is responsible for allowing the absorption of the mineral.

The bones are in constant renewal until approximately 30 years of age, when it reaches its maximum mineralization peak. From that age, it begins to decline, losing bone density drastically if there is no adequate prevention. 

This natural process is even more harmful for women after menopause and low estrogen production, where there is a high prevalence of osteoporosis, if there is no permanent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D. In addition to a lifestyle healthy and exercise [3].

NOT SKELETAL

Calcium fulfills a structural and regulatory function, within which we can find cell maintenance, such as:

  • Secretion and permeability of cell membranes so that they can carry out the exchange of substances with the environment (oxygen and nutrients).
  • Blood clotting.
  • Nerve impulse transmission.
  • Muscle contraction
  • Hormonal secretion and activation of enzymes that serve as mediators in different chemical reactions.
  • And finally, participation in the absorption of vitamin B12.

 

As we can see, calcium is vital for the body, a deficiency of this mineral has repercussions on increasing the probability of suffering from musculoskeletal and neurological diseases, cancer and cardiomyopathies [4]. The recommendation then, is to take care of health with a diet high in calcium, and if necessary through supplementation of this mineral.

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