Could too much calcium harm your health? Here’s the latest.

Calcium is commonly used to prevent osteoporosis and fractures, but experts are now debating how much calcium is really needed, especially by women. A new observational study suggests that 750 mg/day of elemental calcium is enough to reduce the risk of fracture in women. Higher amounts had NO additional benefit.

US and Canadian guidelines recommend 1200 mg/day, but British guidelines recommend only 700 mg/day. You can read my take on these guidelines here.

According to the experts at Prescriber’s Letter tell us prescribers, “It’s too soon to aim for less calcium at this point. Continue to recommend 1000-1200 mg/day from diet and supplements.”

The experts go on to warn, “But caution patients not to overdo it. There is concern that too much calcium might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Here’s a good rule of thumb that I use in my practice: To figure out dietary calcium, count 300 mg/day from non-dairy foods, plus 300 mg/cup of milk or fortified orange juice.

So, for most women, good daily nutrition, a multivitamin, and a glass of calcium-fortified juice or milk daily will do the trick.

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1 Response to Could too much calcium harm your health? Here’s the latest.

  1. Sheryl Oder says:

    My eighty-nine year old mother had to be hospitalized when she had too much calcium in her system. It even affected her mind in a bad way. Now she is not allowed calcium supplements and can only have regular strength Tums as needed.

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