One of the minerals that is important in the regulation
and processes of many body functions including bone formation, hormone release,
muscle contraction, and nerve and brain function is
calcium. If levels of calcium in the body are
elevated above what is considered normal, this is referred to as hypercalcemia.
Calcium levels in the body are tightly regulated. The regulation of calcium
is primarily controlled by vitamin D, calcitonin, and parathyroid hormone (PTH).
- Calcitonin is produced in specialized cells in the
- Vitamin D is obtained through a process that begins
with sun exposure to the skin. The process then continues in the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D can
also be found in foods, such as eggs and dairy products.
- Parathyroid hormone is a hormone produced by the
parathyroid glands, which are four small glands surrounded by the thyroid and
found in the anterior part of the lower neck.
Together, the parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and vitamin D regulate calcium
levels in the bloodstream via the kidneys, and the intestinal tract.
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