Calcium

Definition

noun

An element (symbol: Ca) with an atomic number 20; biologically, an essential dietary mineral that is needed for a variety of bodily functions, such as neurotransmission, muscle contraction and proper heart function


Supplement

Chemically, calcium is a white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. It is the fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust and an important component of most plants and animals.

Biologically, calcium is a physiologically-essential mineral. A mineral is a dietary element that has a biochemical function. Dietary minerals are essential for the growth, development, and function of an organism. In humans, calcium is one of the major essential minerals. Others are sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Biologically, calcium is an element taken in through the diet that is essential for a variety of bodily functions, such as neurotransmission, muscle contraction and proper heart function. Imbalances of calcium can lead to many health problems and excess calcium in nerve cells can cause their death. It is a substance essential to the diet of animals and plants and is present in and is an important constituent of bones, teeth and shells. Main dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, thyme, cinnamon, tofu, etc. Abnormally low calcium level in the blood serum is referred to as hypocalcemia whereas an excess in calcium ion levels is called hypercalcemia. In humans, the normal range of calcium is 2.1–2.6 mmol/L.


Symbol: Ca

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