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CALCIUM - Is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.
In the United States, the recommended daily intake of calcium for women aged between 18 and 50 years is 1000mg. Calcium, together with vitamin D which is understood to help absorption, is crucial for maintaining strong bones and helping to prevent the brittle bone disease osteoporosis in later life.
Between the ages of 9 to 18 years, crucial years for building bone density, girls are advised to consume 1,300 mg per day. After the age of 50, when osteoporosis is most prolific, 1,200mg per day is recommended. The World Health Organization regards osteoporosis as an important health concern, since one in three women and one in seven men will experience a fracture due to osteoporosis at some point after the age of 50. In Europe, osteoporosis causes around 1.1 million fractures each year.
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