Calcium is an essential mineral found to create 1.5% of the body's weight. The majority of the body's calcium is found in the bones and teeth although a minimal amount is found in body fluids. Calcium is most recognized for being present in milk products however vegetables such as broccoli, mustard greens, callard greens, as well as tofu and sardines (with the bones) are also good sources. Calcium is most recognized for influencing the growth and strength of bones. Calcium also plays a role in nerve transmission, muscle movement, glandular secretion, enzyme reactions, respiration, and more. The body absorbs various amounts of calcium depending upon age, condition and the dietary source. The body reacts and uses calcium differently accoridng to age and need. Calcium is present throughout the body and is curcuial to development and health.
Vitamin D helps to increase the active absorption of calcium in the small intestine. When taking bisphosphonates, fluoroquinolones, levothyroxine, sotalol, or tetracyclines, be sure to either take calcium at a different time of the day or discontinue use of calcium as the calcim decreases the absorption and effectiveness of the drugs. Thiazide diuretics will reduce the excretion of calcium from the kidneys. Estrogens will increase the absorption levels of calcium in postmenopausal women.
For the most part, calcium supplements are well tolerated. However, there has been some reports of gastrointestinal irritations such as constipation, bloating, gas, and fatulence. If high doses, which is about 12 grams daily, are used for an extended period, hypercalcemia, milk-alkali syndrome, nephrocalcinosis, and renal insufficiency may be experienced.