Importance of Calcium and Vitamin D



The Calcium Cookbook

Calcium is the most common mineral found in our bones and helps to give them strength and rigidity. Calcium is also particularly important at the time of menopause, because calcium absorption slows down, due to low levels of oestrogen.

A deficiency in Calcium can cause bones to become brittle on the inside and therefore they break very easily. On the outside a person looks perfectly fine. Every cell in our body, including those in the heart, nerves and muscles rely on calcium. Calcium is also necessary for your body to form blood clots.

Calcium alone is not enough to treat bone loss and is not a substitute for drug therapies that treat bone loss. It is essential that calcium is taken in conjunction with Vitamin D3, no one should just be taking calcium.


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The richest sources of calcium in food are milk, yogurt and cheese. Calcium is more easily absorbed through dairy products, versus non-dairy.

Bread, nuts and any oily fish (e.g. sardines and tuna) also contain calcium, as well as some dark green vegetables. Some brands of orange juice and most breakfast cereals have calcium.

Vitamin D3 is essential for the absorption of calcium, it increases the body’s ability to absorb calcium by 30-80%.

Without Vitamin D3, calcium will not be as easily absorbed by your body, which could affect the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D3 also helps to regulates cell growth and the immune system.


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Vitamin D3 is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”. When a person’s skin is exposed to ultraviolet B rays, the skin makes vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that when consumed or made in the skin, can be stored in the blood and body fat, for several months.

Approximately 10-15 minutes of sunlight a day (depending on skin type), on any part of your body (arms, legs, etc…) during the summer months will enable the body to store vitamin D3.

If you are very light skinned, 2-3 minutes for approximately 4-5 times during the day.

However, it is very important to avoid over-exposure resulting in sunburn, as we are all aware of the damaging effects of the sun, especially in terms of skin cancer.

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Wearing sun block, make up and/or moisturizers with sun block in them continuously, will inhibit vitamin D3 absorption also wearing burkas for religious reasons.

Rickets is a severe vitamin D deficiency and babies are being born in Ireland with this preventable condition.

Research has shown that there is a worldwide epidemic of low vitamin D levels, especially in infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women and senior citizens.

Vitamin D and calcium are very closely related in activity. Deficiency of either can lead to impaired bone formation, and deficiency of both in tandem is a common public health problem due to the amount of processed and unhealthy food consumed worldwide.

For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website

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