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Last Updated on July 30th, 2021
Calcium is important for bone health and is important for the functioning of the body. If you don’t take enough calcium in your diet, your body fulfils the demand by taking calcium from your bones. Diet plays a very important role to fulfil the calcium demand of the body. Calcium supplements are an alternative source for calcium in case your diet is not having enough calcium components.
With Calcium, vitamin D is also very important. Since vitamin D absorbs calcium if you didn’t get enough vitamin D you are not benefited from a calcium-rich diet or calcium supplements. Together they work to keep your body functioning.
Calcium Supplements are taken if you are not getting enough calcium from your diet. You need to get your investigations done to check the Calcium and Vitamin d in your body. If you are found deficient, you need to start supplements as an add-on to your diet, to fulfil the body requirement.
Many people suffer from calcium deficiency but are not aware about it since the severe symptoms start in severe cases.
Do you think you have calcium deficiency –
Do your nails, break frequently?
You get dental caries more often?
Do you think you have very slow hair growth?
If your answer is Yes, you might be suffering from calcium deficiency which means you have less amount of calcium in your blood. And long term calcium deficiency could cause more severe symptoms. Vitamin D is an important component when checking for calcium as it supports the absorption of calcium in the body. So vitamin D supplements are usually a part of calcium supplements.
Usually, calcium deficiency doesn’t bring remarkable symptoms thus goes unnoticed. But if untreated for a long time, it could cause more severe symptoms like –
Frequent spasms in the muscle
Slow hair growth with thinning of hair
Brittle and weak nails that break more frequently
Confusion and lack of concentration
Numbness and tingling sensation in the hands and feet
Fracture of bones more frequently and easily
Fatigue and lightheadedness
FAQ’s – Calcium and Calcium Deficiency
Q1. Causes of calcium deficiency
Improper and inadequate diet is the leading cause of the deficiency. Recommended daily dose of calcium if not consumed in the diet, it could lead to calcium deficiency. The other vitamins and minerals like vitamin d, magnesium also help in calcium absorption thus fulfilling the body’s requirements. Their deficiency also promotes overall calcium deficiency.
Other causes are –
Health disorders like Hypoparathyroidism
Medications like Diuretics and Proton pump inhibitors
Intolerant to lactose and dairy products
Women who are undergoing menopause
Q2. Daily recommended dose (RDA) calcium?
Age Men Women Pregnant and Lactating
19-50 years 1000 mg 1000 mg 1000mg
51-70 years 1200 mg 1200 mg –
70 years + 1200 mg 1200 mg –
Q3. What are the good Sources of calcium?
A calcium-rich diet includes dairy and nondairy products.
Vegetables – Broccoli (1 cup ) has an estimated 60 mg of calcium
Fruits – Orange (1 orange has 55 mg of calcium )
Beans – Soybeans, black beans, tofu
Seafood – Salmon, shrimp
Other sources – Almonds, sesame seeds
Q4. Do you get enough calcium from food?
Eating a calcium-rich diet on daily basis, fulfil the calcium requirements of the body. Having at least 2 to 3 servings of calcium-rich food every day prevents deficiency of calcium.
Q5. Connection between calcium and bone health?
When you get deficient in calcium and are not taking a calcium-rich diet, to fulfil the demand, the body takes calcium from bones to maintain healthy and normal functioning. Bones are a storehouse of calcium and the body doesn’t make calcium. When the requirement is not fulfilled through diet, the body ultimately takes it from the bone thus making the bone weaker.
Q6. Who is the right candidate for calcium supplements?
If your diet is not fulfilling the requirements, calcium and vitamin supplements are considered an ideal option. The person who is pure vegetarian, are not tolerant to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, have weak bones, have undergone Gastro surgeries or having bowel issues thus unable to absorb calcium, or are under steroid treatment from long term can take calcium supplements under the supervision of their healthcare worker.
Q7. Should women take calcium supplements?
Firstly, you should try to fulfil the requirements through diet and lifestyle changes like exercise for strengthening bones. In case your body is deficient in calcium even after that you must opt for calcium and vitamin supplements under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
Q8. What should be the daily calcium consumption for a woman ?
According to the National osteoporosis foundation, females aged 50 or younger must have around 1000 mg of calcium daily and females older than that must have 1200mg of calcium daily.
Q9. Which calcium supplement is best – Calcium carbonate or calcium citrate?
Calcium carbonate is the most common form found in calcium supplements. A supplement might have both ingredients but calcium carbonate is in a higher amount in most of the supplements. Always check the labels about how much calcium is present to fulfil your requirement.
Q10. What is the dosage of calcium supplements?
If you are unable to fulfil the calcium requirements through diet and dairy products, calcium supplements up to 500mg or less a day are suggested.
Q11. Can you take calcium supplements for kidney stones?
According to few studies, people with a history of kidney stones should try to avoid calcium supplements. However, the risk is associated with long-term calcium intake. Long-term intake of calcium supplements is associated with high levels of calcium in the blood, this could increase the risk of kidney stones formation.
Q12. What is the fastest way to improve calcium deficiency?
If you are lactose intolerant and unable to take dairy products you can fulfil your calcium deficiency by taking 2 to 3 servings of calcium-rich food like fruits and vegetables in your diet on daily basis.
Q13. What is the best time to take calcium supplements?
Calcium carbonate that is present usually in more amount in supplements should be taken with food because it requires acid of stomach for absorption of calcium. Calcium citrate can be taken empty stomach or with food both. But it is advisable to not take calcium more than 500mg at one time for better absorption and benefits.
Q14. Does caffeine interfere with calcium absorption?
Caffeine could increase the loss of calcium in the urine and decrease its absorption in the body. If you are having enough calcium through your diet or calcium supplements, you don’t need to worry.
Q15. Relationship between calcium supplements and bone health in women.
If you are a woman who is above 50 years of age, not taking enough calcium in your diet, are in post-menopause state calcium supplements are important to maintain good bone health and bone strength. Calcium and vitamin supplements help to prevent osteoporosis (bone loss), weakening of bones, and prevent muscle disease.
Q16. How can I prevent osteoporosis?
Women are more at risk of osteoporosis. A good amount of calcium and vitamin D intake together help in maintaining good bone strength and prevent osteoporosis.
Q17. Calcium and vitamin D work together. How?
Calcium and vitamin D together are important to maintain good bone health and muscle strength. Calcium maintains bone and vitamin D absorbs calcium. So together they work effectively. It is important to note, if you are taking calcium but have a deficiency of vitamin D, the requirement is not fulfilled.
Q18. How much vitamin D women need each day?
Vitamin d intake on regular basis depends on age. Women up to the age of 70 need 600 IU however women more than 70 years of age need around 800 IU of vitamin D.
Q19. What is the risk of taking too much calcium.
If you are taking a large amount of calcium on regular basis, it increases the risk of kidney stones. Thus you must keep a check on the amount of intake.
Q20. Does calcium upsets the stomach?
If calcium bothers the stomach and causes stomach upset you can take calcium supplements that comes with magnesium. Sometimes calcium could cause constipation. Supplement with magnesium would prevent constipation. You must drink plenty of water to prevent potential side effects like gas, bloating and constipation. Along with that if calcium carbonate is not suiting you, you could switch to calcium citrate.
Q21. Side effects of too much intake of calcium supplements.
Calcium supplements might cause constipation in some individuals. However, intake of very high doses of calcium or vitamin supplements with a calcium-rich diet might also cause kidney stones and increase the risk of heart attacks. But all the evidence doesn’t fully support this theory. But it is advised to monitor the calcium intake.
Q21. Drug interaction with calcium.
Large doses of calcium cause drug interaction with few drugs. Some drugs like tetracycline, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, antibiotics like tetracycline, Thyroid medications like levothyroxine interfere with absorption of these drugs.
Q22. Hypercalcemia and its symptoms
Hypercalcemia is too much calcium in the blood. Some people take too much calcium that causes an abnormal increase in calcium levels. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and confusion.
Q23. Are you getting enough calcium as per your age.
Some people don’t get enough amount of calcium as per their age. It includes boys and girls (adolescents) of age 9 to 13 years, women above 50 years, and men older than 70 years of age. So the people of these age groups must keep a check on their calcium intake on regular basis.
Q24. If I am on the treatment of osteoporosis medication, do you need calcium and vitamin D?
Taking an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D along with osteoporosis medication lowers the risk of fracture. If you are not getting enough calcium from your diet, recommendation is to have calcium supplements.
Q25. Calcium and vitamin D3 brands available in India.
The supplements easily available on market are
Citracal + D, Os-Cal, Oyster Shell + D, Shelcal 500.
These are few good calcium and vitamin supplements easily available in the market that can help to add calcium to your diet.
If you have any more questions that you want to ask about calcium supplements or vitamin supplements, let us know and we would quickly get the answers for you.
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