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Dr Russ Blog - Calcium Supplements - Yes or No?
Calcium Supplements - Yes or No?
Created on 3/7/2013

Back in 2010 in this Blog I first discussed the possibility that calcium supplements might contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. As you may have seen in the news, recent data have increased concerns about the safety of calcium supplements.

What to do?

First, men should not need to take calcium supplements unless they have known osteoporosis or some other medical condition that mandates it.

Women, on the other hand, have long been advised to take 1,000-1,500 mg of calcium daily. Now even the US Preventive Task Force recommends against widespread use of high-dose calcium supplementation.

You need sufficient levels of vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, so a good step moving forward might be speaking with your doctor about getting a vitamin D level drawn and supplementing with vitamin D3 in an appropriate manner based on the test results.

Beyond that, however, most people can get adequate intake of calcium by focusing on the eating of calcium-rich foods. Everyone knows about dairy and calcium, but there are plenty of other options including calcium-set tofu, broccoli, salmon, sardines (with bones), and leafy greens like kale and collards.

People at high risk for, or who have, osteoporosis might still benefit from taking calcium - your doctor(s) should help you make this decision. If you do take calcium, however, less appears to be more - an appropriate dose might be 250 mg in the morning and 250 mg at night.

Be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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