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What are calcium supplements used for?

Calcium is used in a variety of ways, some of which are more effective than others. The medical community generally supports calcium supplements to:

  • supply extra calcium to pregnant women, nursing mothers, adolescents, and children who don't get all the calcium they need from food
  • treat and prevent osteoporosis and other bone disease
  • treat indigestion and heartburn
  • treat hyperphosphatemia (a condition where there is too much phosphate in your bloodstream)
  • treating hypocalcemia (a condition where calcium levels are too low in the bloodstream)
  • help build strong bones in unborn children during pregnancy
  • prevent the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Other calcium uses are more controversial because of a lack of scientific evidence, but research is ongoing. It has been suggested that calcium supplements may help:

  • decrease blood pressure
  • decrease the symptoms of fluorosis (high fluoride) in overexposed children
  • decrease bad (LDL) cholesterol
  • increase good (HDL) cholesterol
  • encourage weight loss
  • prevent colorectal cancer
  • prevent strokes in women
  • prevent tooth loss in older people
  • reduce the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy and preeclampsia

Talking to your doctor or pharmacist may help you decide whether a calcium supplement may be helpful for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.