Calcium a Critical Mineral Element



Calcium a Critical Mineral Element

There is about 1 to 2 kg of calcium present in average adult human body ; of which about 98 percent is in the skeleton in the form of calcium phosphate salts ,some amount is present in  the plasma  bound to albumin and the rest is present in ionic form. In normal adults, the plasma concentration of calcium is about 8.8 to 10.4 mg/dl. The concentration of calcium in plasma is critical in plasma is critical and is subjected to tight hormonal control through parathyroid hormone. The later maintains a constant plasma calcium level either by withdrawing calcium ions from the plasma or by feeding calcium ions into the plasma by resorbing the  bone.
Dietary source: Dietary source of calcium mostly comes from milk; the other sources include dairy products, fruits, calcium rich water and green leafy vegetables, etc. The calcium enters the plasma either via its absorption from the intestinal tract or through resorption of calcium ions from the bone mineral. The bone serves as the important storage. Calcium leaves the plasma via secretion into gastrointestinal tract, urinary excretion, and sweating and further redepostion into bone mineral. Bone resorption and bone  formation is a highly balanced process, being controlled by the parathormone (hormones secreted by the Para thyroid glands) and thus, nearly 0.5 mg of calcium is entering and leaving the skeleton daily.
Factors affecting the absorption of calcium into the body from diet:
·         Vitamin D is an important cofactor, which increase the absorption of calcium from the intestine.
·         Reduction in the level of parathyroid hormone in the blood causes increased calcium absorption.
·         Chemicals like ,critical or oxalates and pathological conditions, e.g. sprue, etc. cause decreased calcium absorption.
Effects of decreased calcium levels in the plasma:
·         Increased neuromuscular irritability
·         Tetany-characterized by periodontal muscular spasm and carpopedal spasm
·         Defective blood coagulation.
·         Disturbances in normal heart rhythm
·         Irregularity in normal membrane permeability.
·         Defective formation of bones and teeth
·         Bone resorption and increased osteoporosis
·         Calcification helps in the incorporation of calcium into the bone.
So its very essential to have adequate calcium intake on a daily basis.

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