The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Calcium: The essential Mineral

Calcium: The essential mineral

Calcium is an essential dietary micronutrient and the most abundant mineral in the body. Apart from its primary role in maintaining skeletal health, it is also critical to several other physiological functions and contributes to preventing a number of lifestyle diseases. Milk, as the basis of all dairy products, is the richest food source of physiologically meaningful calcium, as it provides the mineral in a form that is readily bioavailable and well absorbed. The review gives a brief comparison of the calcium content of various foods, elaborates on the physiological function of calcium and touches on why plant-based milk alternatives are not comparable to cow’s milk as a source of calcium. It further describes factors that affect the body’s calcium balance and summarises how various dietary factors influence the mineral’s bioavailability and absorption. Milk and other dairy products should be part of everyone’s daily diet to ensure good health.

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