Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20.
It is the fifth most abundant mineral in the earth's crust and is essential for life on Earth. Reacts with water to form calcium hydroxide.
What Kind of Metal Is Calcium?
Calcium is a silvery-white alkaline earth metal. It is a lipophilic element, found mainly in the crust on Earth, consisting of approximately 4.15 percent by weight of this element.
Due to its reactive properties, it does not occur in the free state. Known minerals that contain this element are calcite, gypsum (calcium sulfate) and fluorite (calcium fluoride). It can generally be obtained by isolating it by electrolysis from other compounds.
What Is Calcium For?
Calcium compounds form the basis of bones and teeth, so it is important that many organisms get enough of them. Getting an excess of the mineral can lead to Wobbler in young animals or kidney stone problems.
Importance in the Industry
The uses of this element in the industry are:
Reducing agent in the extraction of other metals such as uranium, zirconium and thorium.
In the form of calcium oxide, it is the raw material for many building materials such as cement.
Deoxidizer for all types of alloys
Furthermore, this mineral is also used as a metal in alloys, especially in combination with aluminum, beryllium, copper, lead and magnesium.
Function in the Human Body
Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the human body. Teeth and bones contain the most.
In the body, it has a role in:
Bone mineralization (bone formation)
The potential of the plasma membrane
The release of hormones
It is found in the skeleton (99%), in tissues, and in extracellular fluids (including blood).
These are the recommended amounts per day for age groups of an adequate calcium diet.
0 - 6 months
7 - 12 months
9 - 13 years
14 to 18 years
19 to 50 years
Men ages 51 to 70
Women 51 to 70
71 years or older
Pregnant or breastfeeding teens
Pregnant or breastfeeding adult women
What Foods Have a Lot of Calcium?
A varied diet ensures sufficient absorption of calcium by the body. For diets rich in calcium, the main sources of calcium are:
Milk and dairy products. 100 ml of whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk contains 110 mg of calcium.
Vegetables like Chinese cabbage or kale
It is possible to take calcium supplements when calcium intake in the diet is insufficient, for example in people with lactose intolerance. There are supplements in the form of calcium citrate or calcium carbonate, in the form of effervescent and chewable tablets.
How Is It Regulated in the Body?
The level of calcium in mammals is regulated, in part thanks to the bones that act as a storage site. The ions of this mineral are released from there into the bloodstream under controlled conditions. In the bloodstream, it is transported as dissolved ions or bound to proteins such as albumin.
In the clinical chemistry laboratory, it is measured primarily in the blood; its level may indicate an imbalance of this mineral in body compartments.
The level in the blood is regulated by vitamin D and the hormone PTH.