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Too Much Calcium? | increased Rather Than a Decreased Risk of Fracture

Too Much Calcium? | increased Rather Than a Decreased Risk of Fractureread more articles on vitamins

Calcium in supplements, calcium in cereal, calcium in antacids, in orange juice, on and on, are promoted. A big question is--can we take too much?

Here is what two scientist-doctors told Lancet, the British Medical Journal on May 19, 2001* " ...Excess calcium supplementation will ...slow the natural turnover of bone." Bone naturally reduces density as we age, and builds anew. This is bone turnover.

They continued, "'aged] bone is at risk of 'small] fractures. Calcium intakes of 1 to 1.5 grams daily, commonly recommended for postmenopausal women, are associated with an increased (emphasis added) rather than a decreased risk of fracture.

".... International rates of hip fractures are higher in countries where calcium consumption is high."

DETAILS: 1000 milligrams equals 1 gram. Many calcium supplements suggest taking 3 tablets, totaling 1000 milligrams. Taking milk and/or cheese would add to this, as would your basic vitamin supplement and any calcium-fortified foods. One idea may be to reduce the tablet dosage to 2, and avoid such foods if taking the tablets.

Also, vitamin D aids in the balance of calcium in the blood (and is anti-cancer.) The established requirement is 400 milligrams (mgs.) Note the content in your basic vitamin pill. 800 mgs. would not be excessive, but there is also D in milk and some cheeses. Taking D with the calcium may be a good idea, but the report suggests we should limit calcium to under 1000mgs. As to vitamin D, the established requirement is 400 mgs. We would not be concerned about 800mgs., but would keep our intake likewise to under 1000mg.

Also, magnesium and boron are helpful in building bone, so one can seek a calcium supplement containing these minerals. Magnesium has a 400 mg. suggested total requirement and boron 3 mg. Boron can also be obtained in parsley. Avoid excessive boron ingestion.

*Drs. Devendra and Wilkin, Peninsula Medical School, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK. They also referenced studies in the International Journal of Epidemiology, The Journal of Internal Medicine and Clinical Orthopedics to support their contention.

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