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Why do we need calcium?

Calcium is the most common mineral in the human body. Calcium is essential to the growth and maintenance of strong, healthy teeth and bones. It is also necessary for regulating the heartbeat and lowering cholesterol levels.

What are some good sources of calcium?

Dairy products and vegetables are the main sources of calcium; meat, fish, eggs, cereal products, beans, and fruits can also be good sources.

What can happen if we don't get enough calcium?

Aching joints, dry, brittle nails, tooth decay, high blood pressure/high cholesterol levels in the blood, and muscle cramps have all been associated with calcium deficiencies. Perhaps the most significant potential complication from inadequate calcium intake is bone loss, often leading to osteoporosis and increasing the risk for one fractures.

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The More You Know About Minerals

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• Martin AD, Bailey D, McKay H, et al. Bone mineral and calcium accretion during puberty. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1997:66, pp611-615.
• Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Krall EA, et al. Effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on bone density in men and women age 65 and older. New England Journal of Medicine 1997:337, pp670-676.
• Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, et al. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1998:179(2), pp444-52.
• Baron JA, Beach M, Mandel JS, et al. Calcium supplements for the prevention of colorectal adenomas. The New England Journal of Medicine 1999:340(2), pp101-107.



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