Did you know that taking too much calcium can increase your risk of having a heart attack? Many people take calcium supplements because they are worried about osteoporosis, but calcium supplements are not without risk. Unlike some vitamins, which are flushed out of the body if taken in excess, calcium is stored. Calcium can be deposited into your arteries, where it increases atherosclerosis, and your risk of having a heart attack.
How much calcium do you need? The Canadian government’s recommendation for calcium intake is 1000mg/day for adults, increasing to 1200mg/day for women over age 50 and men over age 70. Unfortunately, too many people think this means they should take a calcium supplement with 1000 or 1200mg of calcium. It doesn’t. What it does mean is that the amount of calcium the average adult needs each day, from all sources, including diet and calcium supplements, is 1000-1200mg/day. In addition, if you are concerned about osteoporosis, you need more than just calcium. You need vitamin D, weight bearing exercise, and adequate amounts of other nutrients that help your body make healthy bone.
In order to figure out how much, if any, calcium you need to supplement, you must first figure out how much calcium you are getting from your diet, and then take only what is needed to reach the recommended amount. At Hummingbird Naturopathic Clinic, we can help you figure this out. We can also help you with a program to reduce your risk of osteoporosis AND heart disease. If you would like our help with this, or any other health concern, call us. Our goal at Hummingbird Naturopathic Clinic is to help you improve your health.
Written by Dr. Loreen Dawson, B.Sc, ND