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Calcium has the symbol Ca in the periodic table and atomic number 20. It is an alkaline, soft grey earth metal and is abundant in earth's crust. In our bodies, it is used in muscle contraction, balancing fluid between cells, regulating our heartbeats, nerve impulse transmission, bone and tooth structure and oocyte activation. Along with helping the immune system to function properly, calcium has an important role in the human body.

Calcium is mostly found in sedimentary rocks in the calcite, dolomite and gypsum minerals. Calcium is used for many different purposes such as in insecticides, to make acetylene gas, to condition concrete for roads, as a food additive, swimming pool disinfectant, as an ingredient in deodorant, liquid rocket propellant, animal feed, fireworks, wax crayons, cosmetics and paints. The different substances are made up of different compounds of calcium and are of different strengths and chemical make up.

It is a crucial part of a healthy diet. If any defects exist, it can affect the formation of bones and teeth or kidney stones if over retention occurs. Natural sources of food based calcium come from milk, cheese, seaweed, nuts and seeds, beans, oranges, orange juice and Soya milk. It is essential to have a regular intake of calcium as it fully supports growth of healthy bones and teeth, which is very important in babies and children. Osteoporosis has been linked to calcium deficiency whereby one can obtain bone fractures very easily. This can be a serious disease and one must do everything possible to prevent it from happening.

Supplements are used to help treat deficiencies although there are conflicting ideas as to when to take the supplements. The doses taken should be spread out evenly through the day. The recommended daily allowance for calcium ranges depending on how old the individual is. There are several types of supplements available such as calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium phosphate, and calcium lactate and calcium aspartate.

Mineral supplements are very common nowadays, especially because people are wanting to be not only more health conscious, but also are always looking for the quickest solution. It is therefore no surprise that mineral supplements have been proven to be very popular because they are cheap, easy to produce and take no time to ingest. They are available worldwide in places such as pharmacies and can also be bought at local supermarkets, especially in places like the United States and Great Britain.

It is important to take supplements as advised and it is recommended to take a certain amount of vitamins and minerals everyday to help our immune system stay working at 100%. It is also advised not to overdose on certain vitamins and minerals as they may cause serious side effects and affect certain bodily processes. Supplements are generally taken both for maintaining regular health but also to treat deficiencies so therefore they come in different strengths and dosages. There are a number of brands that sell mineral supplements so it is worth finding out which one is best for you. The cheapest option may not always be the best.

If you are unsure about taking supplements, contact your doctor or pharmacist. He or she can advise you on the best plan of action and give you more information about specific vitamins and minerals. It is advised to seek consultation especially if you are pregnant or currently taking any medication as this can affect the intake of supplements. Go to a registered pharmacy and make sure you read all the instructions on dosage and follow them strictly. More information can be found on the Internet too.


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