Exciting news. Our app has a new name – Healthily. Learn more

×
All of Your.MD’s Health A-Z articles are reviewed by certified doctors

Calcium

There is more calcium in the body than any other mineral and it has several important functions. These include:

  • helping build strong bones and teeth
  • regulating muscle contractions, including heartbeat
  • ensuring blood clots normally

It is thought that calcium may help lower high blood pressure and protect against colon and breast cancer, although more evidence is needed to confirm this. A lack of calcium could lead to a condition called rickets in children or osteoporosis in later life.

Good sources of calcium

Good sources of calcium include:

  • milk, cheese and other dairy foods
  • green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach
  • soya beans
  • tofu
  • soya drinks with added calcium
  • nuts
  • bread and anything made with fortified flour
  • fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards

How much calcium do I need?

Adults need 700mg of calcium a day. You should be able to get all the calcium you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much calcium?

Taking high doses of calcium (over 1500mg a day) could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea. You should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you take calcium supplements, do not take too much. Taking 1,500mg or less a day is unlikely to cause any harm.

Content supplied byNHS Logonhs.uk

Find this article useful?

Top

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

Introducing Healthily by Your.MD
Assess, understand, track and manage your health for free
Image of a phone with the Your.MD app
3,000,000+ Downloads