Most people know that calcium plays an important role in the formation of bones and teeth. But calcium has many other functions too and dairy products are not the only source of calcium as many people are led to believe. Many advertisement claims lead to this belief among the majority of people. As a result, we have many mothers forcing their children to drink milk. But that is not really necessary as there are many other sources of calcium.
Calcium also requires other nutrients to be properly absorbed into the body. The absorption of calcium depends upon the presence of adequate amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D combines with parathyroid hormone which regulate the amount of calcium in the blood. Phosphorus too is needed in the same amount. Excess of either phosphorus or calcium cannot be utilised properly. To function properly, intake of calcium must be accompanied by magnesium, phosphorus and the Vitamins A,C,D and possibly E. A diet containing too litle calcium and too much of phosphorus may result in bone loss.
One needs to wary of certain substances which interfere with the absorption of calcium. Caffeine has been found to significantly affect the absorption of calcium. Hence it is better not to take tea of coffee along with meals but an hour or so after meals. Other factors include a lack of exercise and physical and emotional stress. Even moderate exercise helps in the absorption of calcium in the body.