Question

Calcium

Should I take calcium supplements?

A Answers (5)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    If you're like most Americans, you 1) like sex and violence on television, and 2) don't get your precious daily allotment of 1,000 to 1,600 milligrams of calcium each and every day. That's why I recommend that you 1) keep paying your cable bill, and 2) fortify your diet with the right calcium supplements to ensure that you get the minimum amounts you need.

    Shouldn't you get calcium through food? Of course. And you probably know where to get it. You've surely seen enough milk-moustaches ads to know that there's a lot of calcium in dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other foods rich in calcium include green, leafy vegetables. But the problem is that most American adults don't eat enough of these foods to get the minimum daily requirement (as much as we seemingly like to put cheese on everything).

    That's why I recommend taking calcium supplements to make up the difference.

    To keep your bones young, men need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Women under 60 need to consume about 1,200 milligrams-best broken up twice a day in the form of 500 or 600 milligrams (that's because most of us cannot absorb more than 600 mg of calcium at a time). Over the age of 60, women need 1,600 milligrams of calcium a day to keep their bones the youngest and strongest possible.

    To make sure calcium is properly absorbed, add an additional 20 mg of calcium for every 12-ounce caffeinated soft drink or 4-ounce cup of coffee (caffeine may actually make you excrete the calcium before your body's been given a chance to use it), and for every 4 ounces of protein you eat (high-protein diets can interfere with calcium absorption, too). And for every 30 minutes of sweating exercise, add an additional 100 mg (calcium comes out in sweat).

    Finally, feel free to experiment. If it takes four pills to get the right dosage and that works for you, great. If candy works best for you, that's also great -- as long as the candy has real chocolate and no trans or milk fats). If you enjoy your doses in four glasses of low-fat milk, perfect.
  • AJoan Salge Blake, MS, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    vitamins in hand

    If your diet is inadequate in calcium, a supplement may be necessary. However, when it comes to calcium supplements, some may be good but more is not better.

    The upper level for calcium has been set at 2,500 milligrams daily to avoid hypercalcemia (hyper = too much; calcemia = calcium in the blood) or too much calcium in the blood, subsequent impaired kidneys, and calcium deposits in the body.

    Too much dietary calcium can also cause constipation and interfere with the absorption of other minerals, such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. If your diet is inadequate in calcium, a supplement may be necessary, but be careful not to consume too much.

    You should speak with a registered dietitian to determine IF and HOW MUCH of a supplement you should take. You can find a registered dietitian at:www.eatright.org.
    vitamins in hand
  • AdotFIT answered

    If you don’t consume enough, and most people don’t, you need it. Calcium needs vary depending upon age and gender. Adult requirements range from 1000-1300 mg/day. Needs are highest during your peak growth years, post menopause for women and as we age. Calcium, vitamin D and magnesium help improve the growth and development of healthy bones and maintain bone density. Most people do not get enough calcium and vitamin D, which can lead to osteoporosis, falls, fractures and increased risk of certain cancers. Calcium is relatively easy to get in food sources such as dairy products and a variety of calcium-fortified foods. Unfortunately many adults have shied away from dairy because of believing they are lactose intolerant. Some vegetables, such as spinach, are also relatively rich in calcium. Organic acids and fiber, however, can interfere with calcium absorption, so plant sources are not generally considered the easiest way to boost calcium intake. If using the Sharecare food logging program, you can view your daily calcium intake using the Detailed View. If you’re not meeting your daily requirements, it is recommended that you increase food sources or take a quality supplement. Our SuperCalcium+ contains readily absorbed calcium carbonate with the necessary cofactors of vitamin D and magnesium. Click this link  http://dietarysupport.dotfit.com/Super_Calcium-pid-1004.html 

  • One of the biggest investigations into the efficacy of calcium supplementation among postmenopausal women (the population most vulnerable to osteoporosis) concluded that supplements had little impact on bone density and, in fact, were associated with the increased incidence of kidney stones. Furthermore, researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine found that women who get calcium from food, rather than from supplements, actually have higher bone-mineral densities, even when their total intakes are less.
  • AEric Olsen, Fitness, answered
    Use calcium supplements with caution. Calcium supplements may be a good idea, particularly for women who have cut back on dairy products to lose weight. But Canadian researchers analyzed 70 brands of supplements and found that those made from natural sources such as bonemeal, dolomite (a type of limestone), and crushed oyster shells contained dangerously high levels of lead. This is of particular concern for pregnant women and young people who take supplements because they're allergic to milk products. The researchers found that supplements with laboratory-produced calcium carbonate (as in some antacids) were much lower in lead.
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