STOP RIGHT THERE! Let’s find out if you are suffering from the side effects of too much calcium. Just answer the following questions:
- Have you reached a certain age and began to worry more about your health and getting enough of the vitamins and minerals you need?
- Have you been feeling increasingly tired with aching muscles and joints?
- Do you suffer from heart palpitations, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney stones, insomnia, depression, anxiety, or hypertension (high blood pressure) or migraines?
- Have you been prescribed a calcium supplement by your doctor?
Did you answer ‘yes‘ to any of these questions? If so then you may be at risk from the side effects of too much calcium.
Calcium Supplements = Magnesium Depletion
Please do yourself a favour and take a closer look at that bottle of calcium pills. Does it contain any magnesium?
If the answer is no, you may be causing yourself and your body more damage by consuming it. One of the side effects of too much calcium is magnesium deficiency.
You see, taking a calcium supplement without the magnesium to balance it out can actually lead quickly to straight out magnesium deficiency. It’s like having yin without yang, day without night. The whole delicate balance and equilibrium of your bodily functions at a cellular and enzymatic level are completely thrown out of whack.
How Much Calcium do you Need?
The fact is, you need 1000mg of calcium every day. A need which increases as we age to around 1300mg per day.
This intake is usually adequately gained through your diet. Dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and fish with soft edible bones such as sardines are the best food forms of calcium, but sometimes diet just isn’t enough so supplements are the answer. This is especially true in conditions of advanced age, menopause, gut malabsorption issues, use of certain medications such as corticosteroids as well as an over or under active thyroid.
Who is at Greater Risk?
Women are at greater risk compared to men due to the rapid decline of oestrogen that comes with menopause.
There are also a number of lifestyle factors such as smoking and family history which have an impact on your calcium requirements.
Calcium is not only important to bone health and skeletal density, but also in the proper function of contracting muscle cells. This is especially relevant to the maintenance of a regular heartbeat.
One of the problems associated with increasing you calcium intake without concurrently upping your magnesium too is that the calcium can actually ‘use up’ much of body’s stored magnesium as it tries to balance the electrolytes out.
Side Effects of Too Much Calcium
Without enough magnesium, extra calcium may have the following side effects:
- Muscle cramps – this occurs when the calcium makes the muscle contract but there isn’t enough magnesium around to facilitate its relaxation
- Muscle twitches
- Heart palpitations – in direct correlation with muscle cramping, too much calcium and not enough magnesium can cause the heart muscle to have spasms as well!
- Kidney stones, gallstones, bladder stones – these are all caused by calcium build up. Serum magnesium serves as a carrier to remove excess calcium from the system as waste and flushes deposits from these organs.
When calcium supplementation occurs, failure to provide high enough levels of magnesium as support will eventually lead to magnesium deficiency, calcium build up and may even be detrimental to your bone density long term.
That’s right! Magnesium deficiency caused by calcium supplements which are administered to protect teeth and bones may be doing more harm than good!
How to Minimise Your Risk
Don’t despair, the solution is simple.
The answer is clear. If your calcium supplement does not contain magnesium and there is not much magnesium in your daily diet, swap your supplement for one that contains both.
Have a look here to find out more about foods that are rich in magnesium.
Remember the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) according to the FDA is 320-420mg of magnesium daily while calcium is 1000-1300mg. These requirements both increase over the age of 50 years.
Most Calcium supplements will also contain additional Vitamin D which is there to assist calcium’s absorption.
Recommended Calcium Magnesium Supplements” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Check out some great choices for Calcium/Magnesium supplements here.
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