Dietary calcium is safe. Calcium supplements may have drawbacks and even health risks, including raising the risk of heart disease. However, your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones; your heart, muscles, and nerves also need calcium to function properly.
What are the health benefits of taking calcium supplements?
- They grow new bones and keep the bones you have firm.
- They prevent osteoporosis, weak and easily broken bones, and osteopenia.
- The supplements control high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium in your blood.
- The supplements help prevent or control high blood pressure.
- They help protect premenopausal women from breast cancer.
- They assist with fat loss.
- They improve metabolic markers.
- The supplements lower the risk of colon cancer.
However, there are many risks involved with taking too much calcium; calcium supplements may increase the incidence of constipation, severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, and bloating.
What are the risks of taking calcium supplements?
- They may increase the risk of heart disease.
- High levels of calcium may cause prostate cancer.
- The risk of kidney stones may increase.
- Too much calcium in your blood leads to a condition called hypercalcemia.
Your body is better able to absorb calcium from food than it can from supplements; Calcium is widely available in many foods.
Which foods contain calcium?
- Broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage.
- Fortified cereals, juices, and soy products.
- Fruits, leafy greens, beans, nuts, and starchy vegetables.
- Winter squash.
- Edamame and tofu.
- Canned sardines and salmon (with bones).
- Dairy and fortified plant-based milk.
When your calcium intake is insufficient, your body will remove calcium from your bones, making them weak and brittle, resulting in osteoporosis.
Who should take calcium supplements?
- Postmenopausal women: after menopause, women lose bone mass due to a decline in estrogen.
- People who follow a vegan diet.
- Individuals that consume a high protein or high sodium diet as it may cause the body to excrete more calcium.
- People with a health condition that limits the body’s ability to absorb calcium, such as Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Individuals with a history of gastric bypass surgery.
- Corticosteroids patients.
- People who are suffering from osteoporosis.
Although diet is the best way to get calcium, calcium supplements may be an option if your diet needs to be improved; however, visit an Intercare doctor for the correct dosage.
What are the two types of calcium supplements?
- Calcium Carbonate
- Calcium Citrate
How much calcium do you need daily?
- Women aged 50 and younger: 1,000 milligrams (mg).
- Men aged 70 and younger: 1,000 mg.
- Women over age 50: 1,200 mg.
- Men over age 70: 1,200 mg.
Taking calcium supplements and eating calcium-fortified foods may give you more calcium than you realize, resulting in hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is when the calcium level in your blood is above average.
What are the symptoms of hypercalcemia?
- Excess calcium makes your kidneys work harder to filter, causing excessive thirst and frequent urination.
- Digestive system. Hypercalcemia can cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
- Bones and muscles. In most cases, the excess calcium in your blood is leached from your bones and can cause bone pain and muscle weakness.
- Hypercalcemia can interfere with the brain, resulting in confusion, lethargy, and fatigue.
- Rarely, severe hypercalcemia can interfere with your heart function, causing palpitations and fainting, indications of cardiac arrhythmia, and other heart problems.
- Consult an Intercare doctor if you develop signs and symptoms that might indicate hypercalcemia, such as being extremely thirsty, urinating frequently, and having abdominal pain.
Consult an Intercare doctor if you develop signs and symptoms that might indicate hypercalcemia, such as being extremely thirsty, urinating frequently, and having abdominal pain.