Calcium is a vital mineral in the body that is responsible for normal muscle contractions, bone growth, nerve function, and teeth growth. When there isn’t enough calcium, people’s teeth grow in crooked, overlapping, or twisted. But with the help of an orthodontist, it should be rectified.
The normal concentration of calcium in the blood ranges from 8.5 – 10.5 mg/dl and concentrations lower than that lead to hypocalcemia a condition characterized by neuromuscular irritation. The question on,” why would calcium deficiency limit muscle contractions?” is answered by the triggering mechanism of calcium levels on muscle contracting proteins.
Calcium blood concentrations are directly linked to muscular contraction by triggering myofilament proteins of the muscles called the actin and myosin proteins via regulatory mechanisms using troponin and tropomyosin proteins. Actin and myosin proteins are located alongside each other and when the muscles are signaled to contract by the brain, calcium pumps in the body are triggered to release calcium ions into the muscle cells where they will bind to troponin protein causing it to move away from tropomyosin. Since tropomyosin movement is controlled by troponin, tropomyosin will move in the same direction as troponin. This causes the actin and myosin proteins to move unto each other causing muscle contraction.
In the case of calcium deficiency, muscle contraction is inhibited as the regulatory mechanism of calcium ion binding to troponin is inhibited and thus troponin and tropomyosin remain in their position causing myosin and actin to separate away from each other leading to muscle relaxation. Prolonged calcium deficiency will eventually lead to muscle weakness, muscle cramps, difficulty in walking, numbness, and disability.
Therefore, it is important to prevent calcium deficiency in the body by;
•Increasing dietary intake of high calcium foods such as green vegetables and cereal food.
•Reducing the intake of high protein and fat food which inhibit calcium absorption in the body.
•Taking calcium supplements such as calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, and calcium citrate.
•Increasing intake of vitamin D rich foods such as orange juice and salmon fish increases the rate of calcium absorption into the bloodstream.
•Exercising regularly which increases calcium absorption.
•Reducing the intake and use of alcohol and caffeine.
•Taking calcium deficiency prescriptions of calcium tablets that will supplement calcium in the body.