Les Carences en Calcium

Calcium Deficiencies

Apr 20, 2024

Calcium is an essential mineral for human health. From bone strength to muscle contraction and nerve transmission, it is involved in many vital functions of the body. However, despite its crucial role, calcium deficiency is a common health problem. What are these deficiencies due to and how can they be overcome? Discover our complete guide to understand and manage your calcium intake.

What you need to know about calcium

What is calcium?

Calcium is an essential mineral for the human body , necessary for many biological functions. Furthermore, calcium needs vary depending on age and sex . Growing children, adolescents, and pregnant or breastfeeding women generally have higher calcium needs. Dietary recommendations also vary by country and health organizations, but in general, adults need approximately 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day.

Its importance for the human body

Calcium is crucial to the overall health of the human body for several important reasons:

  • Bone and tooth health : About 99% of the calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, where it plays a vital role in building and maintaining their structure. Calcium is necessary to form and maintain bone mineral density.
  • Muscle contraction : Calcium is essential for muscle contraction, including that of the heart muscle. When muscle cells receive a signal to contract, calcium is released into them, starting the contraction process.
  • Nerve transmission : Calcium plays a role in transmitting nerve signals across synapses, the connections between nerve cells. It is necessary for the release of neurotransmitters.
  • Blood clotting : Calcium is involved in the blood clotting process, essential for stopping bleeding in the event of an injury. It participates in the cascade of biochemical reactions that lead to the formation of blood clots.
  • Cellular Functioning : Calcium also acts as an important regulator of cellular metabolism. It is involved in numerous enzymatic reactions and contributes to maintaining the acid-base balance inside cells.

Food sources of calcium

Calcium is found in a variety of foods, and it is important to eat a balanced diet to get enough of this essential mineral. Here are some of the main food sources of calcium:

  • Dairy products : These are among the best sources of calcium. Milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir are rich in calcium. Opt for low-fat versions to limit saturated fat intake.
  • Green leafy vegetables : Some green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, spinach, also contain significant amounts of calcium.
  • Dried fruits : Some dried fruits, including dried figs, dates and dried apricots, are good sources of calcium.
  • Almonds and sesame seeds : Almonds and sesame seeds are rich in calcium. You can eat them as is as a snack or add them to your salads, cereals or smoothies to increase your calcium intake.
  • Calcium-Enriched Tofu : Tofu made with calcium sulfate is often enriched with calcium. It is an excellent source of calcium for people following a vegan or dairy-free diet.
  • Canned fish with edible bones : Some canned fish, such as salmon and sardines, are a source of calcium, especially if you also eat the bones, which are rich in this mineral.
  • Mineral water : some mineral waters are naturally rich in calcium. Check the nutrition label to find out the calcium content of the water you drink.

Calcium deficiencies

What can cause calcium deficiencies?

Calcium deficiencies can be caused by several factors, including:

  • An unbalanced diet : this is one of the main causes of calcium deficiency. If your diet doesn't contain enough calcium-rich foods, it may be difficult to get the recommended amount of this mineral.
  • Insufficient absorption : Health conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease and other gastrointestinal disorders can disrupt calcium absorption. This, even if you consume foods rich in calcium.
  • Low vitamin D intake : Vitamin D is necessary for efficient absorption of calcium in the intestine. If you are deficient in vitamin D, even if your calcium intake is adequate, you may have a calcium deficiency.
  • An increased need : certain periods of life (childhood and adolescence, pregnancy and breastfeeding, menopause in women) increase the need for calcium. If they are not satisfied with the diet, a calcium deficiency can occur.
  • Endocrine disorders : certain endocrine disorders can lead to a decrease in calcium in the blood.
  • Use of certain medications : Certain medications (for example, long-term corticosteroids or anticonvulsant medications) may interfere with the absorption or use of calcium in the body.
  • Lifestyle factors : Lifestyle factors, such as smoking or excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, protein or sodium, can contribute to calcium deficiency.

What solutions to overcome calcium deficiencies?

To overcome calcium deficiencies, several solutions can be considered, depending on the underlying cause of the deficiency and individual needs. Here are some commonly used strategies:

  • A balanced diet : The first step to overcoming a calcium deficiency is often to adjust the diet to include more calcium-rich foods.
  • Calcium supplements : If you are unable to get enough calcium through your diet, calcium supplements may be recommended. Tablets, capsules, powders, there are a variety.
  • Vitamin D supplements : Since vitamin D is necessary for effective calcium absorption, vitamin D supplements are often prescribed in combination with calcium supplements to optimize calcium absorption.
  • Treating underlying disorders : If an underlying disease is causing the calcium deficiency, treating that disease can help correct the deficiency.
  • Lifestyle modification : changing lifestyle habits (smoking, excess coffee, alcohol, etc.) can help prevent calcium deficiency.
  • Regular exercise : Regular exercise, especially bone-strengthening activities such as walking, running, weight training, can help maintain bone health and prevent calcium loss from bones.


In conclusion, calcium deficiencies are a serious health challenge, but their prevention and treatment are very feasible. By eating a balanced diet, taking supplements if necessary and staying physically active, it is possible to replenish calcium deficits and maintain bone and overall health. Stay attentive to your nutritional needs and consult a health professional regularly to maintain an adequate calcium balance in your body.

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