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Functions Of Calcium That Are Not Bone Related

Functions Of Calcium That Are Not Bone Related

When people think of calcium we immediately think of it as a nutrient solely for our bones. Makes sense considering the fact that 99% of our calcium stores are within our bones, but that remaining 1% is responsible for a series of other vital functions which we'll be exploring today!

Calcium is a structural mineral. It is there to provide strength and density to to us, hence why it's so important for our skeletal structure and teeth, but can also been seen as a heavy mineral that creates "boundaries" in the body. Similarly to magnesium, calcium calms the nervous system and has the ability to regulate cell permeability which we'll get into soon. The best sources of calcium are dairy products, sardines with bones, egg shells, some dark leafy greens, carrot juice and kelp.

So just what makes calcium so multi faceted?

1. Calcium helps regulate cell permeability. 
What does this mean? As mentioned before, calcium is a "heavier" mineral. He creates boundaries and chooses to let things in and out. Within our cell membranes, calcium stabilizes it so it doesn't become "leaky" or "easily penetrated", particularly controlling how much conditioning hormones have on our cells. 

2. Calcium controls how much thyroid hormone is absorbed.
Ponying off the first point, calcium regulates how much and what penetrates through our cells. If you have ever looked at a hair you'd see that there is an important ratio called Ca:K ratio (Calcium: Potassium ratio) representing our thyroid. Calcium's job is to help regulate how much T3 our cells uptake. Of course there could always be too much, for if we have an excess of calcium, we would call it a "calcium shell", such as the excess calcium has created a barrier around the cell, preventing it to utilize thyroid hormone. Maintaining calcium levels is necessary to avoid this.

3. Calcium is important in maintaining acid-base balance.
The pH of our body is the level of acids and bases in our blood at which your body functions best. When our pH is too acidic this can allow for infections to grow, whereas if we are too alkaline, our bodies can weaken as well. It's all about finding a fine balance.

4. Calcium helps with muscle and nerve transmission. 
Its primary role is to help slow and relax the transmission signals between nerves and muscles, hence its sedative effect as we mentioned before. It can slow down the nervous system, help with anxiety, sleep and cramps. 

5. Calcium can slow an over active metabolism.
Connecting it to point number 4, calcium can help slow an overactive metabolism because of its calming effects. However, if too much calcium is accumulated in the tissues, there won't be enough energy to allow the body to tap  into energy stores (such as fat, glycogen or muscle). This is actually the case of many individuals who are slow oxidizers as you can read here in this previous article we wrote. 

6. Calcium is important for insulin secretion. 
Ever looked at an HTMA and seen the Ca:Mg ratio (Calcium: Magnesium ratio)? This is your blood sugar ratio. Calcium is required to signal to the pancreas to secrete insulin, whereas magnesium plays a role in glucose control and insulin metabolism at the cell. We need insulin as a means to signal to the cell to allow glucose in, hence the role of calcium.

7. Calcium can antagonize some heavy metals.
If you haven't read our blog on ionic mimicry, check it out here to understand. But to summarize, we have essential minerals (like calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium) and heavy metals. If we are ever deficient or dysregulated in our essential minerals, metals can be utilized by the body as a means to adapt to a stress it is experiencing because the metal might look chemically similar to the mineral the body can't seem to use. In the case of calcium, it can help remove and protect the body from accumulating levels of lead and cadmium. 

Thankfully we have our Upgraded Calcium if you're someone who needs some extra in your life! However, if you're interested in checking to see where your calcium levels are at first via HTMA, click here to order a kit and book a consult with someone on our team!

Barbara Madimenos
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach

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