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More Than Bone Support: 5 Facts You Didn't Know About Calcium
by Peter Bua on January 30, 2019
If you don't already know that calcium helps you build strong, dense bones, you probably didn't listen to your parents harp on the importance of drinking milk when you were young. What your well-intended parents may not have known is that calcium is vital in many other bodily functions, such as muscle contraction. Read on to discover more interesting facts about this multi-faceted element.
- Calcium is on the Moon Calcium was on the Earth's Moon long before man. The element is abundant in the Moon's crust and exists at about 70 parts per million by weight in the solar system. Within the Earth's crust, calcium is the 5th most abundant element. Iron and aluminum are the only metals more abundant in the Earth's crust than calcium.
- Vitamin D and calcium go hand-in-hand Without Vitamin D, your body wouldn't be able to absorb any calcium. When your body soaks in Vitamin D from the sun or you order Vitamin D supplements to boost your intake, your body converts it to a hormone. This hormone produces intestinal proteins that allow for calcium absorption.
- You can take too many calcium supplements While it is very important to have enough calcium, you shouldn't take calcium supplements like they're candy. Ingesting too many can cause milk-alkali syndrome, kidney stone formation, or artery calcification. When you order calcium supplements online, be sure to consult your doctor and take only the recommended amount.
- Calcium is in cement and cheese Beyond improving bone health, oral health, humans use calcium in many different applications. We use it to make cheese, a common dairy product. Some industries also use it to remove nonmetallic impurities from alloys and as a reduction agent when preparing other metals. Calcium is also a part of the cement-making process. The Romans first developed this technique by heating limestone, a calcium carbonate, to make calcium oxide. They then mixed the calcium oxide with water to create cement, combined it with stones, and built the aqueducts and amphitheaters that still stand today.
- Pure calcium is a metal Calcium doesn't exist free in nature, like some metals and stones. Instead, calcium is purified into a soft silvery-white alkaline earth metal. When the metal is exposed to air or water, pure calcium usually appears dull white or gray from the oxidation layer that forms on the metal.