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An important metal, but recent research shows we only get about one third of our needs from modern food.


Calcium is vital - it is an important part of bones and teeth, but is also necessary for nerve operations, muscle contraction and ensures regular heartbeat, and important in maintaining the immune system. When we don't get enough, the body takes what it needs from our bones, making them thin and brittle. So Calcium in the diets of the elderly is especially important.

Deficiency Symptoms

Weak bones and teeth. Examples of which are rickets, osteoporosis. Leg cramps because of Calcium's role in muscle contraction.

At a Glance...

Creates healthy bones, teeth and immune system.

Functions Dosage Toxicity Further Information What you need to eat
Calcium is important in regulating cell functions, hence its role in the immune and nervous systems. It is also involved in blood clotting and regulating blood pressure.
RDA is 800 microgrammes (µg)
Doses over 2,000 mg per day may produce hypocalcaemia, but excess is usually excreted and overdosing is unlikely
Calcium is thought to play a role in preventing heart disease, and there is evidence to be protective in colon cancer.
Dairy products leafy green vegetables, salmon, canned sardines and tofu are all rich in Calcium.

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