Do You Really Need Calcium Supplements?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 14, 2015

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Quick Bites

  • Calcium is essential for optimal bone health.
  • Amount of calcium you need depends on your age and sex.
  • Calcium supplements can do more harm than good.
  • Calcium supplements should only be taken on doctor’s advice.

Calcium is essential for optimal bone health. The nutrient also helps your heart, muscles and nerves to function properly. Diet is the best way to get calcium, though calcium supplements can also be great options if your diet falls short of the required amount.


calcium supplements


Do you Need Extra Calcium?

Calcium is important! But, how much of it is adequate for building and maintaining a healthy bone mass?

The amount of calcium you need depends on your age and sex. Most people get sufficient calcium from diet, except those who can’t tolerate dairy. If you don’t meet the calcium requirement, you may increase your risk of health problems.

Calcium supplements are recommended to healthy, postmenopausal women, to ensure their bones don't go weak. Women in menopause or nearing menopause are often deficient in this nutrient and they should therefore, ask their general practitioner for calcium supplements to meet daily requirements of calcium.


Dangers of Calcium Supplements

Calcium supplements can do more harm than you might think. Too much calcium can lead to kidney stones. It can also make absorption of iron and zinc difficult. Constipation is another common side-effect of calcium supplements. If you are prescribed the supplements, try taking calcium with magnesium.

Studies in the past have linked calcium supplements to heart diseases, though there is no conclusive evidence to suggest it. However, it’s still an open question and there can be an unestablished association.


side effects of calcium supplements


The Bottom Line

Get as much calcium as you can from fruits and vegetables. Plain yoghurt, sardines, calcium-fortified soymilk, whole milk, orange juice, tofu, salmon, raw kale, raw broccoli and cheese are excellent sources of calcium.

If your bone health isn’t great or you’re at an increased risk for fracture, ask your doctor for the prescription. If you don’t eat dairy, you should try to make nutritional substitution to get the calcium you need.

Calcium supplements should only be taken on your doctor’s advice. This is important because you need to consider the amount of calcium you need.



Read more articles on Bone Health.

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