Calcium is perhaps best known for its critical role in the formulation of bones and teeth. While more than 99 percent of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones, the remaining 1 percent plays an essential role in other body functions, such as muscle growth, transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting, and a regular heartbeat.
According to an August 1997 report issued by the National Academy of Sciences, most American adults and children get only about half the calcium they need from the foods they eat. If you do not consume enough calcium through your diet, calcium is stripped from the bones to continue essential body functions. Over time, this will result in weak bones and a condition known as osteoporosis.
Good Food Sources: Milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, salmon (with bones), almonds, blackstrap molasses, brewer's yeast, broccoli, kale, kelp, sesame seeds, tofu, and yogurt.
Signs of Deficiency: Signs of calcium deficiency include muscle cramps, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, nervousness, tooth decay, rickets, numbness in the legs and arms, brittle nails, and aching joints.
Uses of Calcium: Calcium is used to treat anxiety, arteriosclerosis, cancer of the colon, heart attack and cardiovascular disease, hemorrhoids, hypertension, insomnia, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease, and premenstrual syndrome .