Calcium is a naturally occurring elemental metal which is often taken as a dietary supplement and is crucial to life itself. People most commonly associate it with the strength of our bones and teeth, and this is indeed a common association – calcium strengthens the bones in our bodies by making them denser.
Due to its propensity to form compounds with other elemental minerals, calcium is never found isolated in nature. This is true despite the fact that calcium is one of the top five most abundant elements on our planet. Given that it must be isolated from other compounds using advanced technology, it wasn’t until the early 1800′s that a man by the name of Sir Humphry Davy successfully isolated Calcium.
Calcium supplements are often prescribed to patients with some type of calcium deficiency. In some cases, the supplements are able to return patient’s bodies to normal calcium levels. In others, the supplement merely prevents the patient’s calcium levels from dipping to a dangerous level. Oftentimes, seniors will take calcium to strengthen their frail bones. This coupled with bee pollen is especially helpful as simple fall for an elderly person can result in a life-threatening injury.
Calcium is also beneficial to patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowl syndrome is a condition which leads those suffering from it to experience bouts of uncomfortable stomach pains and cramps. Though the mechanism by which it works is still not fully understood, taking a calcium supplement seems to alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, studies showed that when the supplement regiment was discontinued, symptoms returned.
Taking a regular calcium supplements can provide your body with a multitude of health benefits. One of the most surprising of these benefits is the potential that calcium supplements offer chemotherapy patients suffering from stomach ulcers. Preliminary evidence suggests that a regular calcium phosphate supplement can provide some level of relief as well as help to prevent future outbreaks.
What are the different types of Calcium?
There are many different types of calcium dietary supplements including but not limited to calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and calcium lactate. Calcium Carbonate is perhaps the most popular of the bunch. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that it is readily available and easy to extract from nature. Typically, calcium carbonate rich rock such as Limestone is first mined, and then the calcium carbonate is later extracted from that.
After being extracted, the compound is then transformed into a health supplement by grinding it into a soluble powder which is packaged and then sold to consumers. There are relatively few dangers associated with calcium carbonate and so it is alright to shop for it with some of the lower cost online retailers. Currently, Swanson Health Products is selling a powdered calcium carbonate supplement online for $4.95, which is certainly a deal worth considering.
Responding to the large increase in demand for calcium supplements, the grocery industry has increasingly started adding calcium to products for nutritional value. For instance, calcium is often added directly to soymilk and sometimes to orange juice. Products such as these do not naturally have calcium, or if they do, they do not have it a level of concentration needed to provide any health benefits. And, these very benefits are driving millions of consumers to add more calcium to their diets – especially among the elderly. Scrambling for a bio-friendly marketing aim, grocery recognized the gap in the market and pounced on the opportunity.
For children, calcium is added to gummy bears as part of daily multivitamins. Though children do not need as intense of a regiment as adults or elderly individuals, a regular calcium supplement is still a worthwhile investment for children. The only caveat is that it must be in moderation.
Calcium phosphate is another popular form of calcium that is offered as a dietary supplement. The compound is present eggshells and milk, and a large proportion of our bones are actually made up of a calcium phosphate mineral known as hydroxapatite. Interestingly, hydroxapatite also makes up 90% of our teeth enamel. Introducing this mineral into the body as a supplement can result in a major bone density increase. Calcium phosphate also occurs naturally
At the end of the day, calcium is a vital supplement. Nearly every individual over the age of 50 should consider taking this supplement to prevent against injury caused by frail bones. As mentioned, there are many naturally occurring sources of calcium such as milk (and some human engineered such as orange juice). Thus, if taking a direct supplement is not your thing, you can still receive your daily dose of calcium from products to which it has been added.