Calcium is with up to 1.4kg the largest mineral in the human body, in terms of quantity. It is found almost exclusively in the bones and teeth. As a result, the most important function of calcium is the growth and maintenance of tooth and bone substance. Calcium also plays an important role in the transmission of nerve signals and in the regulation of blood clotting and muscle contraction.
Daily requirement, deficiency symptoms and overdose
The daily requirement of an adult is 1 gram. Children and adolescents in growth, breastfeeding mothers and the elderly have an increased calcium requirement.
Since the body can regulate the calcium concentration in the blood well, overdosing rarely occurs. The excess calcium is stored in the bones. If there is a calcium deficiency, the required calcium concentration in the blood can be maintained by making calcium available from the bone tissue. In the case of prolonged undersupply, this can lead to brittle bones, problems with the teeth (tooth decay, periodontal disease), high blood pressure and muscle cramps.
Foods high in calcium
Calcium is found primarily in milk and dairy products, but also in many types of grain and nuts.