Calcium. What is the first thing that pops up in your mind after you hear, or read this word? Strong bones, and healthy teeth, right? Indeed, a body needs sufficient amount of calcium to give enough strength to a body. Also, sufficient calcium content in teeth makes them healthy, and strong. You must have seen several commercials, which explain the importance of calcium in your toothpaste, and food items.

One may say – “A body needs calcium as a sword needs a whetstone” That’s right in a way. However, have you read a quote by Mr. David Wolfe, a well-known American writer, which says, “The calcium theory has probably done more to damage our health than any single theory in the history of humanity”? Read that again and think.

Most people self-prescribe, or even tell their friends and relatives to start taking calcium tablets, and supplements once they reach 30. Are you also one among them? Any supplement, if taken in excess quantity, or when not needed can lead to several health problems. A calcium deficiency can cause pains and aches in bones. However, excess or unnecessary intake of these supplements can also take a toll on your health. How? Read on to know.

How Much Calcium is Recommended for You?

The amount of calcium needed by a human body varies according to one’s age. The table given below will help you understand how much calcium you should be consuming daily for a healthy lifestyle:

Age Group Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) per day
 Children 1-3 years  700 mg
 Children 4-8 years 1000 mg
 Children 9-18 years 1300 mg
 Adults 19-50 years 1000 mg
Adults 51- 70 years Men: 1000 mgWomen: 1200 mg
Adults 70+ years 1200 mg

For children below 1 year of age, there is a defined intake of calcium. The children belonging to the age group 0 to 6 months or infants, the 200 mg/day is an adequate intake, and for those aged from 7-12 months, it is 260 mg/day.

Risks of Having Excessive Calcium Tablets and Supplements

As said, having calcium tablets and supplements in proper amount can be beneficial, but if you are consuming them excessively, and are addicted to them, then you need to stop.

Your body gives you signs of excessive consumption of calcium supplements. These signs include experiencing difficulty in breathing, swelling of lips, tongue, face, or throat. If not given proper attention, it can increase and lead to:

  • Pain in muscles, and joints
  • A feeling of tiredness, or restlessness
  • Increased level of thirst, and urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting, and stomach pain

Apart from those mentioned above, the most common side effects of excessive calcium intake include:

    • A headache, and drowsiness
    • Weakness
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Constipation
    • Dry mouth
    • A feeling of metallic taste in the mouth

As a matter of fact, the study conducted in 2013 stated that the higher death rate is directly linked to the increased high consumption of calcium supplements and tablets.

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Let’s Talk Numbers
The numbers will help explain the gravity of the problems arising out of calcium overdose.

      1. In 2012, over 24,000 people from the age group 35 to 64 took part in a study, and did a meta-analysis of the calcium overdose. You’ll be shocked to see the outcome of the study. So, here is what it looked like:
        • The risk of heart attack is increased by 31%
        • 20% people were at a risk of stroke
        • The risk of death from all causes was about 9%
      2. Another analysis, done by 12,000 men showed that the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease increased by 20%. The reason behind this increased risk was an excessive intake of calcium.
      3. According to a study conducted in the US in 2014, around 9% of women showed signs of hypercalcemia, and 31% of women suffered from hypercalciuria.
      4. An Australian study also explains that those taking calcium supplements have 76% more risk of death by cardiovascular disease compared to those not taking the supplements.

If Not Calcium Supplements, Then What?

Now, you must be thinking, what are the suitable alternatives to calcium tablets? Here is a list of food items, which are rich sources of calcium:

      • Low-fat Greek Yoghurt
      • Salmon with Soft Bones
      • Sardines
      • Collard Greens
      • Sesame Seeds
      • Legumes and Beans
      • Green Leafy Vegetables
      • Orange Juice
      • Soy and Almond Milk
      • Tofu
      • Figs
      • Okra/Ladies’ Finger
      • Cheese

Absorbing calcium from food is easier for a human body compared to that from supplements. Eating right amounts of calcium will be helpful for your body and save you from any disorders, pain, or ailments. Are you suffering from joint pain or weak bones due to deficiency, or excess consumption of calcium? Spinalogy Clinic based in Aundh, Pune has a team of trained and experienced doctors including orthopedics, Pain Physicians, Ayurveda Doctors, Physiotherapists, psychologists etc who can help you with non-surgical treatments to get rid of the pain.

Spinalogy Clinic is a super specialty clinic known for it’s for Non-surgical pain treatment.