What is the relationship between calcium and diabetes?

Calcium and Diabetes. Calcium is important for bone health, cardiovascular, nervous, and muscular systems. Studies show that 99% of calcium is found in the bones, which maintains and develops bone structure. But did you know calcium plays an essential role in diabetes management?

What is the relationship between calcium and diabetes?

The body absorbs sugar molecules into the bloodstream when we eat food. In the next step, the glucose exits the bloodstream and enters the cells for energy conversion and storage. Cell channels are necessary for the sugar molecules to travel. These channels open when enough insulin is available. However, if you are experiencing insulin resistance, this process is disrupted. These cell channels cannot recognize insulin. They do not open up. They prevent the sugar molecules from traveling and impair the process of sugar-energy conversion.

This is where calcium plays an important supportive role. Calcium serves the purpose if enough insulin is missing to open the cell channels.

After calcium opens the channels and enters the cells, it triggers the release of more insulin to support the movement of the sugar molecules. This process also prevents hyperglycemia and diabetes attacks.

It is also important to note that proper calcium regulation is necessary to avoid insulin complications and pancreatic cell death. Too much calcium can also misbalance blood sugar levels.

The following information describes the recommended calcium in the body:

For people aged 19 – 50 years old: 1,000 mg per day for men and 1,000 mg for women.

For people aged 51 – 70 years old: 1,000 mg for men and 1,200 mg for women.

For people aged 70+: 1,200 mg per day for both men and women.

What are the best sources of calcium?

Some of the natural sources of this mineral are:

  • Sardines
  • Milk
  • Salmon
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Turnip greens
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Collards
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios

Calcium supplements

If you are deficient in calcium, your healthcare professional may recommend supplements, such as calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, to improve your overall or diabetic health. Following the prescription will help prevent supplemental side effects, such as constipation and stomach upset.