Calcium is vital to proper functioning of the body. It’s responsible for bone growth and maintenance, and muscle and nerve health among other things. Many people choose to take a supplement in order to reach their dietary goals, but it’s important to remember that the best source of calcium is from food, preferably organic. Not only will eating foods high in this bone builder provide you with all the minerals and vitamins you need, it will also help you to avoid some of the shocking potential calcium supplement side effects that you might not be aware of.
It has been suggested by Dr. Mercola, the book ” The Calcium Lie” by Robert Thompson, M.D., as well numerous health studies, that taking calcium supplement alone can actually increase the incidence of breast cancer in women. The research is based on the theory that higher bone density is responsible for the increase. Since women are more likely to take calcium supplements because they are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, it’s logical to see how this correlation was made.
Calcium supplement side effects are most common when they are not taken in conjunction with the other vitamins and minerals the body needs to process them such as vitamin D or K2. Calcium magnesium citrate supplements, for instance, provide the body with magnesium, essential for processing. If the body doesn’t have enough calcium, it robs your bones and teeth, the storage silos for this vital mineral. However, if it has too much, it doesn’t know what to do with it. This can cause a whole host of calcium supplement side effects including hypothyroidism, ovarian cysts and kidney stones. Calcium build up can even end up in your arteries and make you more susceptible to heart attacks, as per by Dr. Mercola.
Calcium must be offset by magnesium as consuming high amounts of calcium without magnesium depletes magnesium in the body, which is damaging in the long run and may lead to shocking calcium supplement side effects mentioned above. When taking calcium supplements, it is important to take them at a 1 to 1 ratio with magnesium, although in some cases you may need to increase or decrease one of these minerals according to your body’s signals. Unfortunately, most doctors will not tell you that when they recommend taking calcium, and most supplements sold today have a 2 to 1 ratio, so you would need to buy extra magnesium citrate.
Taking a wrong ratio of calcium to magnesium may cause milder side effects, like aches and cramps. When starting taking these supplements, observe your body in the first couple of weeks, and if you do not notice any cramps, keep the recommended 1 to 1 ratio like most people do. However, if you feel cramps in your feet or lower legs, you may actually need to increase magnesium by 100-150 mg since it relaxes muscles, and if the cramps don’t go away, you may then need to lower your calcium supplement by 100-150 mg. Therefore, cramps on your left side are an indicator of your calcium intake being either too high or too low, and cramps on your right side mean that your magnesium intake is either too low or too high.
Calcium side effects when deficient are easy to identify, however when the body has too much, it often doesn’t do a very good job of telling you. Calcium supplement side effects can turn into dangerous conditions or lifelong illnesses.
If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough calcium, but worried about calcium citrate side effects, talk to your doctor or health care provider. He or she will discuss the risk and benefits with you, and will likely discuss dietary changes with you as well to help you make an effort to include more calcium and nutrient rich foods into your existing diet.