Calcium is an essential mineral for bones. It is therefore very important to make sure you get the adequate calcium intake from diet and supplements. In fact, without enough calcium we can develop osteoporosis and other serious medical conditions. Calcium also helps to improve muscle contraction, the blood pressure, has an important role in blood clotting after injuries and prevents heart attack, premenstrual syndrome and colon cancer.
However, despite all these benefits, it is possible to reach an overdose when the recommended daily values are exceeded. If this happens, the persons may suffer from health problems as serious as when calcium deficiency is present. Here are some guidelines to avoid overdosing with calcium.
What is the adequate intake of calcium?
Most people do not need to worry too much about calcium intake, since most have a calcium deficiency in the body. This is the main reason why many people need supplements of multivitamins and minerals that include calcium. As a general rule, the maximum amount of calcium that an ordinary adult can safely consume is 2500mg daily. In reality, there is no need for so much. For most adults, a 1000mg calcium intake is sufficient. Adults over 50 can increase calcium intake to 1200-1400mg per day to prevent bone damage caused by aging. The same applies for women who lose a significant amount of calcium with the menstrual cycle.
Calcium is especially important for infants and children. Babies should receive approximately 210 mg calcium / day, children over 7 months 270 mg calcium / day and older children, aged between 5 and 8 years, 500 mg calcium / day. Between 9 and 18 years, children should supply their bodies with a daily intake of about 1300 mg calcium as they are in the growth phase, when bones solidify and a new set of teeth appears.
Side effects of an overdose of calcium
– Symptoms of acute overdose of calcium include nausea , vomiting , diarrhea, constipation, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.
– Excessive calcium intake can cause, over time, irregular heart rhythm and can lower blood pressure. In severe cases, too much calcium can damage the brain. This may cause seizures , confusion and unconsciousness. Too much calcium in the blood (calcification) can cause cardiovascular disease .
– Ironically, those who want to protect their bone health can have serious problems if they take too much calcium. Studies have shown that people taking too much calcium can have joint problems and have a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones .
It is important to have an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals every day, and they are mainly obtained in the most naturally way through diet. If you experience calcium deficiency and other essential minerals, talk to your doctor to find the best way to increase their level.