Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for the development and maintenance of bones and teeth. It helps against osteoporosis later in life and is necessary for proper functioning of nerves and muscles, blood clotting and transport of other minerals in the body. Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium in the body.


Calcium is mainly found in dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese and cheese. Bread, vegetables, legumes and potatoes contain a smaller amount of calcium.



Due to a shortage of calcium in infants, muscle cramps may occur. In the elderly, too little calcium intake can lead to osteoporosis. When calcium, due to a shortage of vitamin D, is not absorbed sufficiently, osteomalacia (softening of bones) may occur. Other effects of a calcium shortage are delayed blood clotting and, in case of a serious shortage, muscle cramps.


An excess of calcium disrupts the absorption of iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus. There may also be kidney stone development and bone growth may be affected, causing bones to become weaker.