What is Calcium

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Did you know, you have more calcium in your body than any other mineral. The body stores more than 99% of its calcium in the bones and teeth to help make and keep them strong. The rest is throughout the body in blood, muscle and the fluid between cells. Your body needs calcium to help muscles and blood vessels contract and expand, to secrete hormones and enzymes and to send messages through the nervous system.

It is important to get plenty of calcium in the foods you eat. Food rich in calcium include:

  • Dairy products [milk, cheese, yogurt]
  • Leafy/green vegetables
  • Fish with soft bones [salmon, sardines]
  • Calcium-enriched foods such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices, soy and rice drinks

The exact amount of calcium you need depends on your age and other factors:

  • Teenagers need more calcium than young adults
  • Athletes
  • Older women


National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements



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