Q:

What are the effects of calcium deficiency?

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Quick Answer

Low calcium levels may lead to health issues including weaker bones, teeth and heart conditions. Consuming dairy products are beneficial in countering the effects of a calcium deficiency.

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Calcium is an important mineral found in dairy products, green, leafy vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals, seafood and nuts.

An insufficient calcium intake forces the body to draw calcium into the bloodstream from the bones. After a prolonged period of calcium deficiency, the bones may become weaker, less dense and break more easily. Other symptoms of severe calcium deficiency may include numb and tingling fingers, convulsions and irregular cardiac rhythms that may lead to serious heart conditions.

Long-term low calcium intake is listed as a contributing factor to bone loss, according to The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Peak bone mass is reached at about the age of 30, from which time there is a slow decline. Later in life, bones are more easily fractured or broken.

Marked bone loss can lead to osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become porous and fragile. Women are at higher risk for osteoporosis, especially in the years following menopause. Although some of the risk factors for the bone disease are genetic or heredity, a sufficient intake of calcium is very important for bone health.

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