The body’s most abundant mineral, essential for cell function, muscle contraction, the transmission of nerve impulses, and blood clotting. Calcium phosphate is the hard basic constituent of teeth and bones. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, eggs, and green, leafy vegetables. Calcium uptake is facilitated by vitamin D. The body’s calcium levels are controlled by parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. Abnormally high levels in the blood ( hypercalcaemia) or abnormally low levels ( hypocalcaemia) may seriously disrupt cell function, particularly in muscles and nerves. (See also mineral supplements.)


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