The importance of micronutrients - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine






About 99 per cent of calcium in the body resides in bones and teeth; this mineral is integral to skeletal health. “Calcium is essential for bone growth and strength and used in muscle contractions,” says Collins.

CARE FACTOR: Calcium deficiency is known as ‘hypocalcaemia’ and causes bone breakdown as the body uses all stored calcium to maintain normal functions. Chronic deficiency can result in osteoporosis, which affects an estimated 692,000 Australians (2008), over 80 per cent of whom are women.  

TELLTALE Moderate deficiency symptoms include cramps, joint pains, heart palpitations, insomnia, brittle nails, eczema and limb numbness.

ON THE DAILY: RDI for Australian adults is between 1,000 to 1300mg/day. Requirements increase for menopausal women, who absorb less calcium and lose an additional 30mg in urine. Collins recommends a blood test to determine calcium levels before supplementing. 

ON A PLATE: Dairy foods, legumes, tofu, kale, broccoli, spinach, rhubarb, nuts and seeds. A glass of milk (around 200 mL) provides 300 mg of calcium.

SABOTEURS: Take at a different time to magnesium and zinc, which can affect its absorption. Excess caffeine, dietary fat, dietary fibre and high-protein diets can lead to in high calcium excretion.

Winter sign

Muscle Spasms




Combining vitamin D and exercise enhances absorption


Magnesium and zinc


Any time, with food