According to WebMD, low amounts of calcium affect the body in many ways, including an increased chance of osteoporosis, muscle pains, broken bones, stunted bone growth and cancer. The National Institute of Health reveals that, to a lesser degree, calcium is also required for metabolic functions such as vascular contraction, vasodilation, muscle functionality, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion.Continue Reading
Recommended calcium intake depends on age and gender, with increased intake for various groups. The National Institutes of Health claim that anyone between the ages of nine and 18, as well pregnant and lactating women, should receive 1300 milligrams per day. Females over the age of 50 need 1200 milligrams to compensate for bone breakdown exceeding bone formation after menopause.
Vitamin D is necessary to effectively absorb calcium, so the two must work together. The body uses sunshine to make its own vitamin D, and many foods are fortified with both vitamin D and calcium. Nelson Watts, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center at the University of Cincinnati, warns that getting too much calcium can lead to problems such as kidney stones, and he recommends a maximum intake of 1500 milligrams per day.Learn more about Vitamins & Supplements