Calcium, Vitamin D3 , Magnesium , Zinc and Cissus Quadrangularis Health Benefits

Minerals are important for your body to stay healthy. Your body uses minerals for many different jobs, including keeping your bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly. Minerals are also important for making enzymes and hormones.

There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals. You need larger amounts of macrominerals. They include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. You only need small amounts of trace minerals. They include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium

Calcium, Vitamin D3 , Magnesium , Zinc and Cissus Quadrangularis Health Benefits

Minerals are essential for a wide variety of metabolic and physiologic processes in the human body. Some of the physiologic roles of minerals important to athletes are their involvement in: muscle contraction, normal hearth rhythm, nerve impulse conduction, oxygen transport, oxidative phosphorylation, enzyme activation, immune functions, antioxidant activity, bone health, and acid-base balance of the blood. 

In this article we will mainly focus on 4 vital minerals and a herbal ingredient that benefits our body in numerous ways. 

Calcium

Calcium is a nutrient that all living organisms need, including humans. It is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it is vital for bone health.

Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones, and 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.

 Calcium plays various roles in the body. These include the following:

Bone health

Around 99% of the calcium in the human body is in the bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for the development, growth, and maintenance of bone.

As children grow, calcium contributes to the development of their bones. After a person stops growing, calcium continues to help maintain the bones and slow down bone density loss, which is a natural part of the aging process.

Females who have already experienced menopause can lose bone density at a higher rate than males or younger people. They have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, and a doctor may recommend calcium supplements.

Muscle contraction

Calcium helps regulate muscle contraction. When a nerve stimulates a muscle, the body releases calcium. The calcium helps the proteins in muscle carry out the work of contraction.

When the body pumps the calcium out of the muscle, the muscle will relax.

Cardiovascular system

Calcium plays a key role in blood clotting. The process of clotting is complex and has a number of steps. These involve a range of chemicals, including calcium.

Calcium’s role in muscle function includes maintaining the action of the heart muscle. Calcium relaxes the smooth muscle that surrounds blood vessels. Various studies have indicated a possible link between high consumption of calcium and lower blood pressure.

How much do I need?

People need the following amounts of calcium:

  • 0–6 months: 200 milligrams (mg)
  • 7–12 months: 260 mg
  • 1–3 years: 700 mg
  • 4–8 years: 1,000 mg
  • 9–18 years: 1,300 mg
  • 19–50 years: 1,000 mg
  • 51–70 years: 1,000 mg for males and 1,200 mg for females
  • 71 years and above: 1,200 mg

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is important for overall health. You get it from the sun, foods you eat, or supplements. It comes in two main forms: D2 and D3.

If you have too little, you may problems with your bones, muscles, immune system, and mood. You could also have more inflammation and pain.

How Vitamin D Works

Vitamin D helps control how much calcium and phosphate you absorb from food.

Calcium is essential for bone health. Phosphate is needed for healthy bones, teeth, muscles, nerves, and basic bodily functions.

Vitamin D comes in two forms:

  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is naturally found in some plants. 
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is naturally found in animals and is produced by the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. 

Health Benefits

Vitamin D3 offers many health benefits. It:

  • Strengthens bones and muscles
  • Boosts immunity
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves heart function

Bones

Vitamin D works with calcium to support your bones. If you’re low on vitamin D, your body can’t get calcium from food. So it steals it from your bones. This leads to:

  • Weaker bones
  • Fractures
  • Osteoporosis

Getting more D3 from foods is helpful for improving peak bone density. That’s the maximum amount of bone tissue you reach during adulthood.1

The better your bone density, the less likely you are to develop diseases (like osteoporosis) that weaken bones.

Muscles

Vitamin D appears to help you build stronger muscles. Studies suggest a link between muscle strength and high vitamin D levels.2

Researchers found people with more vitamin D had:

  • Leaner bodies
  • More muscle mass
  • Better muscle function

How much do I need?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vitamin D recommendations are:

  • 600 IU (international units) for adults up to age 70
  • 800 IU per day for adults over 70

Most people can handle a maximum daily intake of 4,000 IU. You can increase your vitamin D levels by:

  • Taking supplements
  • Getting more sunlight
  • Eating more foods with a lot of D3

Magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral, playing a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. Its many functions include helping with muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, and supporting the immune system.

An adult body contains around 25 gram (g) of magnesium, 50–60% of which the skeletal system stores. The rest is present in muscle, soft tissues, and bodily fluids.

Function of Magnesium In Body

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps adjust blood glucose levels. It aids in the production of energy and protein.

Health Benefits

Bone health

While most research has focused on the role of calcium in bone health, magnesium is also essential for healthy bone formation has linked adequate magnesium intake with higher bone density, improved bone crystal formation, and a lower risk of osteoporosis in females after menopause.

Magnesium may improve bone health both directly and indirectly, as it helps to regulate calcium and vitamin D levels, which are two other nutrients vital for bone health.

 Diabetes

Research has linked high magnesium diets with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This may be because magnesium plays an important role in glucose control and insulin metabolism.

A magnesium deficiency may worsen insulin resistance, which is a condition that often develops before type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, insulin resistance may cause low magnesium levels.

Cardiovascular health

The body needs magnesium to maintain the health of muscles, including the heart. Research has found that magnesium plays an important role in heart health.

A 2018 review reports that magnesium deficiency can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems. This is partly due to its roles on a cellular level. The authors observe that magnesium deficiency is common in people with congestive heart failure and can worsen their clinical outcomes.

People who receive magnesium soon after a heart attack have a lower risk of mortality. Doctors sometimes use magnesium during treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF) to reduce the risk of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm.

Anxiety

Magnesium levels may play a role in mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.

Low magnesium levels may have links with higher levels of anxiety. This is partly due to activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a set of three glands that control a person’s reaction to stress.

However, the review points out that the quality of evidence is poor, and that researchers need to do high quality studies to find out how well magnesium supplements might work for reducing anxiety.

Recommended daily intake

The following table shows the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium intake by age and sex

.

AgeMaleFemale
1–3 years80 mg80 mg
4–8 years130 mg130 mg
9–13 years240 mg240 mg
14–18 years410 mg360 mg
19–30 years400 mg310 mg
31–50 years420 mg320 mg
51+ years420 mg320 mg

Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral, meaning that the body only needs small amounts, and yet it is necessary for almost 100 enzymes to carry out vital chemical reactions.

It is a major player in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins, healing damaged tissue, and supporting a healthy immune system

Zinc is required for numerous processes in your body, including 

  • Gene expression
  • Enzymatic reactions
  • Immune function
  • Protein synthesis
  • DNA synthesis
  • Wound healing
  • Growth and development

Function of Zinc in Body

Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It is needed for the body’s defensive (immune) system to properly work. It plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Zinc is also needed for the senses of smell and taste. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. Zinc also enhances the action of insulin.

Health Benefits

Boosts Your Immune System

Zinc helps keep your immune system strong.

Because it is necessary for immune cell function and cell signaling, a deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response.

Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells and reduce oxidative stress.

For example, a review of seven studies demonstrated that 80–92 mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33% .

What’s more, zinc supplements significantly reduce the risk of infections and promote immune response in older adults.

Accelerates Wound Healing

Zinc is commonly used in hospitals as a treatment for burns, certain ulcers and other skin injuries.

Because this mineral plays critical roles in collagen synthesis, immune function and inflammatory response, it is necessary for proper healing.

In fact, your skin holds a relatively high amount — about 5% — of your body’s zinc content.

While a zinc deficiency can slow wound healing, supplementing with zinc can speed recovery in people with wounds.

For example, in a 12-week study in 60 people with diabetic foot ulcers, those treated with 200 mg of zinc per day experienced significant reductions in ulcer size compared to a placebo group.

Reduce the Risk of Certain Age-Related Diseases

Zinc may significantly reduce your risk of age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Zinc may relieve oxidative stress and improve immune response by boosting the activity of T-cells and natural killer cells, which help protect your body from infection.

Older adults who supplement with zinc experience improved influenza vaccination response, reduced risk of pneumonia and boosted mental performance.

In fact, one study determined that 45 mg per day of elemental zinc may decrease the incidence of infection in older adults by nearly 66%.

Additionally, in a large study in over 4,200 people, taking daily antioxidant supplements — vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene — plus 80 mg of zinc decreased vision loss and significantly reduced the risk of advanced AMD.

Help Treat Acne

Acne is a common skin disease that is estimated to affect up to 9.4% of the global population.

Acne is driven by obstruction of oil-producing glands, bacteria and inflammation.

Studies suggest that both topical and oral zinc treatments can effectively treat acne by reducing inflammation, inhibiting the growth of P. acnes bacteria and suppressing oily gland activity. People with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc. Therefore, supplements may help reduce symptoms.

Recommended Dosages

In order to avoid overconsumption, stay away from high-dose zinc supplements unless recommended by a doctor.

The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for adult women.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume 11 and 12 mg per day, respectively.

Unless a medical condition is hindering absorption, you should easily reach the RDI for zinc through diet alone.

The tolerable upper level for zinc is 40 mg per day. However, this does not apply to people with zinc deficiencies, who may need to take high-dose supplements.

If you take supplements, choose absorbable forms such as zinc citrate or zinc gluconate. Stay away from zinc oxide, which is poorly absorbed.

Cissus Quadrangularis

Cissus quadrangularis, also known as veldt grape, adamant creeper, or devil’s backbone, is a plant that belongs to the grape family.

Native to certain parts of Asia, Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula, Cissus quadrangularis has long been used as a natural remedy to treat a wide variety of ailments.

Since ancient times, people have used it to help treat pain, regulate menstruation, and repair bone fractures.

The healing properties of this plant are attributed to its high contents of vitamin C and antioxidant compounds like carotenoids, tannins, and phenols.

Uses of Cissus quadrangularis

Cissus quadrangularis is used particularly to treat the following conditions:

  • hemorrhoids
  • obesity
  • allergies
  • asthma
  • bone loss
  • gout
  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol

While Cissus quadrangularis has been shown to help treat some of these conditions, research on some of its uses is either lacking or has failed to show any benefits.

For example, one study in 570 people found that Cissus quadrangularis was no more effective than a placebo at reducing symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Meanwhile, no research to date has evaluated the plant’s effects on conditions like allergies, asthma, and gout.

Benefits of Cissus quadrangularis

Although Cissus quadrangularis is used to treat a number of health conditions, only a few of these uses are backed by research.

Health  Benefits of Cissus quadrangularis.

May promote bone health

Animal and human studies have found that Cissus quadrangularis may help reduce bone loss, speed the healing of fractures, and help prevent conditions like osteoporosis.

In fact, an 11-week study found that feeding Cissus quadrangularis to mice with osteoporosis helped prevent bone loss by altering levels of certain proteins involved in bone metabolism.

May reduce joint pain and swelling

Cissus quadrangularis has been shown to help reduce joint pain and relieve symptoms of arthritis, a condition characterized by swollen, stiff joints.

One 8-week study in 29 men with chronic joint pain found that taking 3,200 mg of Cissus quadrangularis daily significantly reduced exercise-induced joint pain.

Dosage

Currently, there is no official recommended dosage for Cissus quadrangularis.

Most supplements come in powder, capsule, or syrup form and are widely available online and at natural health shops and pharmacies.

Most of these products recommend doses of 500 or 1,000 mg per day.

However, studies have found doses of 300–3,200 mg per day to provide benefits.

Ideally, you should start with a lower dose and slowly work your way up to assess your tolerance.

Author

Surajit Jana.

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