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CALCIUM – D3: THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS FOR BONE HEALTH

Calcium and Vitamin D3 are nutrients that are indispensable across all age groups and assist significantly in building strong, dense bones. We have more calcium in our bodies than any other mineral. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium enables our muscles to contract, regulates blood pressure and enables the heart to beat, helps cells to communicate and is involved in the release of certain hormones. Surprisingly, we only use 1 percent of our bodies’ available calcium to carry out all these critical functions. The other 99 percent remains in our bones and teeth, where it is used for the structural function1

Vitamin D was simply known to aid in calcium absorption which helps to maintain strength and health of bones. However, Studies and researches have enlightened us with the fact that nearly every type of tissue and cell in the body has vitamin D receptors, which means its actually an esentional hormone that plays vital role in a large number of physiological processess. It serves as a mood enhancer, reduces triglyceride levels in the blood, improves blood pressure and blood flow, strengthens immunity and regulates essential male and female sex hormones. Additionally, it regulates appetite, improves insulin resistance and boosts serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters that keep you happy.

Role of Calcium & Vitamin D3 in Daily Diet

  • HELPS WARD OFF OSTEOPOROSIS – These nutrients are the building blocks of bones, and aid in maintaining bone strength across all age groups. Taking supplements help ward off osteoporosis which is a condition that weakens bones making them fragile and in turn more susceptible to breakage.
  • LOWER COLORECTAL CANCER RISK – Calcium & Vitamin D3 lowers the risk of colon cancer and suppress the growth and extension of polyps (abnormal tissue growth, usually non-cancerous that most often looks like flat bumps but may eventually become cancerous) which are known to be precancerous. Supplementing your diet with these nutrients decrease the risk of adenomas as well as non malignant tumours of the colon 2.
  • REDUCES PREMENSTRUAL SYMPTOMS – Sufficient amounts of these nutrients reduce the symptoms of premenstrual depression like nausea, mood swings and hypertension. Taking Calcium supplements a week before and during periods relieve symptoms such as water retention, food cravings, cramps and head/back aches.
  • DIABETES – Calcium is highly vital for intracellular and extracellular processes that take place within insulin responsive tissues like skeletal muscle and adipose tissues. A lower range of Calcium concentration is needed for optimal insulin-mediated functioning. Medication that combines both Calcium and Vitamin D3 could aid in improving blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance in diabetics. The combination has shown positive results and can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • BONE HEALTH – The skeletal frame is the basic framework of a healthy functioning body. If the bones and teeth are not nurtured, daily movement and functioning could prove to be problematic. Calcium forms the building blocks of bones, without it healthy child development can be stunted. Vitamin D3 helps absorb calcium and maintain bone strength and density which is essential in old age as well.

Additionally, Calcium helps in nerve and transmission of signals. This is crucial for the process of proprioception (awareness of the position and movement of the body) by optimising the mind-muscle link. It also keeps our cells hydrated and improves fertility by oocyte activation.

Calcium supplement is great for treating various bone disorders, specifically for those people who have a lower level of phosphate in their blood. It not only reduces the visibility of psoriasis but also helps in preventing rickets.

A diet that is high in processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, sugar and sodium, regular intake of antacids and laxatives reduces calcium absorption. While it is easy to obtain Calcium through diet and Vitamin D3 through food and sunlight, it often falls short of the daily requirement, especially in an urban lifestyle.  Several children do not get a sufficient daily dose of calcium and thus risk deficiency related complications later in life. In such cases, supplements can be integrated into daily lifestyles after due consultation with a General Practitioner.

References:

https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/calciumvitamin-d/

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/vitamin-d-levels-linked-to-lower-colorectal-cancer-risk.html

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