What is calcium?
Calcium is an essential mineral that is also one of the most abundant minerals in the natural world. This mineral molecule is found attached to other chemical elements, depending on where it is sourced. Calcium is absorbed in the intestine with the help of vitamin D.1
Why is calcium so important?
Just like in the natural environment where calcium is found in hard materials such as shells and coral, calcium in the human body helps to give strength and structure to body tissues, especially bones and teeth.
Calcium is also an electrolyte - electrolytes are responsible for making sure the muscles and nerves maintain a healthy function, among many other roles.2
Getting enough calcium, along with a healthy diet and exercise, has been shown to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis (bone loss) later in life.3
When it comes to how you get your calcium, bioavailability is the biggest factor. Calcium may be available as a high-dose supplement but is often attached to poor-quality compounds that prevent its absorption in the digestive tract.
Eimele’s source of calcium is the naturally occurring calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate contains the highest amount of elemental calcium, as well as a higher bioavailability than many other forms of calcium on the market.4
It’s important to take into account your individual needs (i.e. diet, health conditions or risks, medications, etc) when considering how much calcium you should be getting.4 Unfortunately, since it’s difficult to get an accurate test result for calcium deficiency, many people aren’t aware their calcium levels may be dropping.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) below is a good guideline - aim for this amount or higher through eating calcium-rich foods and including a supplement where necessary.
Men 19-70 years 1,000mg/day
Men 70+ years 1,300mg/day
Women 19-50 years 1,000mg/day
Women 51-70 years 1,300mg/day
Women 70+ years 1,300mg/day
Pregnancy & lactation 1,000mg/day
Why do you need to supplement calcium?
As an essential mineral, calcium needs to be regularly replaced through dietary sources. However, unlike some other essential minerals, the body does store calcium. Calcium stores can be pulled from the bones and used for other needs if dietary calcium intake is low. Eventually, this will lead to a clinical calcium deficiency, resulting in symptoms such as weak bones and teeth.5
Calcium can be found in a range of animal and plant sources. As a large molecule, however, calcium can be difficult to digest. A number of factors can impact calcium absorption - including health conditions involving the digestive tract, high caffeine consumption, certain medications, and low serum vitamin D levels.1,4,5
Interesting facts about calcium
- The average human body contains around 1kg of calcium - 99% of that is stored in the skeleton.6
- Calcium is abundant in plant sources, but with another hurdle to absorption - two compounds also found in plants called oxalic acid and phytic acid. These plant compounds or ‘anti-nutrients’ block the absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc.7
- Zhang, R. & Naughton, D.P. (2010). Vitamin D in health and disease: current perspectives. Nutrition Journal, 9(65).
- Shrimanker, I. & Bhattarai, S. Electrolytes. Updated July 2021 in Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022.
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Calcium. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium
- Harvard School of Public Health. Calcium. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium
- Medline Plus. Calcium and bones. Accessed July 2022 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002062.htm
- Pu, F., Chen, N. & Xue, S. (2016). Calcium intake, calcium homeostasis and health. Food Science and Human Wellness, 5(1):8-16.
- Akter, S., Netzel, M., Tinggi, U., Fletcher, M., Osbourne, S., et al. (2020). Interactions between phytochemicals and minerals in Terminalia ferdinandiana and implications for mineral bioavailability. Front Nutr, 7:598219.