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What Will Happen if I Consume Too Much Calcium?

The same thing as if you don't get enough. You'll be more likely to die sooner.

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

February 23, 2013 - 7:00 am
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It is tempting for people to suppose that if a little of something is good for them, then a lot of it must be better. Unfortunately this is not always or even usually the case; and I first realized that people are inclined to make this mistake when, as a student many years ago, I was shown a baby who was bright orange; it was suffering from a condition known as carotenemia. The parents, having heard that carrots were healthy, concluded that only carrots were healthy, and fed their baby accordingly.

A study from Sweden, recently published in the British Medical Journal, examines the important question of whether calcium supplements are good for middle-aged and old women. The question is important because millions of women around the world take such supplements – 60 percent of American middle-aged and old women, for example. There is no one quite like the Swedes for carrying out such epidemiological studies because the medical records of their population are by far the most comprehensive in the world: creepily so, one is sometimes inclined to think.

What the Swedish researchers found was that the graph of the relationship between calcium intake and death rates was a U-shaped curve. People with a low consumption of calcium had a higher mortality than those with a moderate consumption, but so did people with a high consumption.

The sample of women was not small, and in the period of study 11,944 of the 70,259 women studied had died. Those with a high dietary consumption of calcium alone had an increased death rate of 1.4 times for all causes of mortality, 1.49 times for cardiovascular mortality, and 2.14 times for ischaemic heart disease (heart attacks) compared with those whose who consumption of calcium was associated with the lowest mortality, that is to say a moderate consumption.

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Too much of anything is bad for you, including water (water intoxication, hyponatremia) and oxygen (oxygen toxicity).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can't deal with this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A doctor I know says that without enough of the right kind of magnesium then calcium is not absorbed properly by the body and contributes to clogging of the arteries. And you need more MG than calcium, by a ratio of 2 or 3 to one.

And just common MG Oxide is not the right kind. Mg Oxide is not absorbed but by a small portion of the colon. You need Mg Asperate and Mg Citrate, and which one depends on whether the objective is to strengthen the bones or help control blood pressure.

So it is quite believeable that too much calcium is bad for you, especially if there is inadequate Mg.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Word. I used to take a ton of vitamin E since it helped with my acne. Now I have a pacemaker. Oh yeah; don't use anti dandruff salicylic acid too long either (not heart related; causes other problems)...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just a note referring to your question on those 830.

Actually, if you take a look at the third and last sentence under the “Outcomes” paragraph, the authors have differentiated among cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, and stroke because evidently that’s what the ICD-9 and 10 do: they give codes for all three; so those 830 would actually be part of the 11,944 “all causes” cohort:

“We used the underlying cause of death in the registry to define the outcomes of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease (international classification of diseases, ninth and 10th revisions; ICD-9 codes 390-459 or ICD-10 codes I00-I99), ischaemic heart disease (ICD-9 codes 410-414 or ICD-10 codes I20-I25), and stroke (ICD-9 codes 430-436 or ICD-10 codes I60-I64).”

(They used the phrase “cause specific cardiovascular disease” in the “Abstract” section, which could have used a hyphen, and a semi-colon after “causes” in the paragraph above, both of which would have improved clarity—probably both casualties of the less than punctilious editing that can occur in these pre-pub pieces, but for which the general public as well as the scientific community are nontheless most grateful.)

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let me hasten to add that the whole article is so rife with punctuation errors (including many more in the quoted paragraph) that it’s a wonder you could slog through it on our behalf, which I for one certainly appreciate. And perhaps the original language was Swedish. :-)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I read about the same study, CA daily should not exceed 1000 mg., maybe slightly higher for postmenopausal women.

Vitamin D should not exceed 600 IU's.

As always, best sources for both are natural food sources, plus sunlight exposure on the skin is the primary mechanism for making vitamin D.

signed, not an expert but on board for the idea that megadoses of anything are not wise.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The missing concept here is that calcium must be balanced with magnesium. When you introduce exogenous calcium, there is not enough magnesium stored in the body to deal with it, and your calcium supplements have only created a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency is characteristic of patients with cardiovascular disease. Excess magnesium is easily excreted, it is a harmless macro mineral as compared with calcium. Excess calcium is bad news for neurons, also, magnesium is protective: see the writings of neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock.

The relationship between calcium and magnesium is analogous to the relationship between sodium and potassium. Potassium is excreted very easily, no matter how abundant it might be in a natural diet. Excess sodium is another matter, intake of sodium is best limited because too much of it causes problems.

So what to do about calcium? Just make sure you eat foods like cheese, you will get enough in a good diet. Consider supplementing with magnesium.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So...
What is a moderate amount of calcium?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's my question as well.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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