Calcium carbonate may strengthen bones, maintain normal blood pressure, and also help prevent colon cancer and fatty liver. Some people use it for acid reflux. But are there any side effects? And do you know how much you need? Read on to learn about the ups and downs of the most popular calcium supplement in the world.
What Is Calcium Carbonate?
Calcium Carbonate is found across the world. The forces of nature create it in the sediment of shells and other fossils over countless years, the most famous example being limestone. It also builds seashells and eggshells. The average eggshell contains about 2.2 g of calcium carbonate!
Calcium Carbonate is made of calcium, oxygen, and carbon. Magnesium, being the most abundant mineral in the human body, accounts for 1-2% of its weight. But only around 1 percent of the whole body calcium is found in the blood, whereas the remaining 99% is stored in the bones and teeth.
Every cell in the body needs calcium to work. This vital mineral affirms the bones, muscles, heart, and nervous system.
Calcium is formulated into various salts in nutritional supplements. These all contain various amounts of elemental calcium.
Among the various kinds of calcium salts added to nutritional supplements, calcium carbonate is the most common. It contains 40% elemental calcium, the highest of any kind. On the downside, its absorption rate is comparatively low: only around 22 percent. It’s also the least water-soluble calcium salt, which makes it difficult to use in beverages.
People With low stomach acid will have difficulty absorbing calcium carbonate, which requires an acidic environment to dissolve. If you take medication for acid reflux, then you are most likely one of these (such as histamine-2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors).
- Cheapest calcium kind
- May fortify bones & reduces fractures
- May helps maintain normal blood pressure, including in elderly women
- May relieve PMS
- May help colon cancer prevention
- Works as an antacid
- Might improve fatty liver disease
- Insufficient evidence for a few benefit
- Intake Has to Be balanced with other nutrients
- Not beneficial for everyone
- Possibly unsafe along with high-calcium diets
- Raises the Risk of kidney stones
- May increase the risk of prostate cancer
- May Lead to stomach upset
- Inhibits iron absorption when taken with meals
- Some goods are contaminated with direct
Advantages and Techniques of Calcium Carbonate
Calcium supplements reduce the risk of fractures when taken with vitamin D. This is the end of the largest review of proof to-date. The review was carried out by a group of experts, including the International Foundation for Osteoporosis. The decrease in fracture risk was modest but important.
Supplements most effectively decrease fractures in groups at high risk of calcium and vitamin D deficiency. This includes the elderly (over 50 years), menopausal women, and people being treated for osteoporosis.
Some Evidence suggests calcium may enhance bone health in physically active individuals, including athletes, military personnel, and manual workers.
During intense exercise, blood pH levels fall as lactate levels rise. To compensate, the body releases calcium in bones, which increases bone loss in the event the demand for calcium isn’t met. Calcium supplements might be useful during these periods of intense strain on the entire body and mind system.
In one trial with 243 army personnel, calcium and vitamin D improved bone density (BMD) and strength.
In a second study, 32 well-trained female athletes were given a meal with ~1350 mg calcium 90 minutes before a strenuous workout. Magnesium decreased the normal bone loss observed with prolonged high-intensity exercise.
In Another study with 867 healthy guys, calcium with vitamin D also improved BMD, especially in the neck, hips, and spine. However, a huge review concluded that more evidence is needed before we can claim that supplementation can be beneficial for all non-deficient, healthy, older men.
The Use of Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps absorb calcium from the gut, keep calcium levels in the blood, and fortify the mineral makeup of their bones. Should you get enough sunlight and nutritional resources year-round, you most likely don’t have to supplement with vitamin D.
All in all, abundant evidence suggests that calcium carbonate Strengthens the bones and reduces fractures in vulnerable populations like older people, postmenopausal women, and people vulnerable to osteoporosis. They also appear to help prevent bone loss caused by intense exercise, being its benefits to non-deficient, healthy people unclear. You might discuss it with your physician if it may assist as a complementary strategy on your case.
In sum, calcium supplements strengthen the bones and reduce fractures in people at risk of deficiency, and they might protect the bones of vigorously-active wholesome individuals.
1) Maintaining Normal Blood Pressure
Adequate calcium intake helps maintain normal blood pressure. It may prevent the onset of elevated blood pressure, according to a large review of over 3k healthy people. Calcium intake marginally reduced blood pressure, especially in people under 35 decades old. The benefits depended upon the dose: 1,000 to 1,500 mg decreased blood pressure around 1 point, and more than 1,500 mg, almost 3 points.
You May talk with your health care provider if calcium carbonate might be beneficial in your situation. Importantly, never use it as a replacement for blood pressure-lowering medication prescribed by your health care provider and carefully follow their recommendations.
2) Reducing the Probability of Pregnancy Complications
Preeclampsia Is sudden high blood pressure during pregnancy, which often begins around the 20th week. It affects about 5 percent of pregnant women and may lead to organ damage, pregnancy complications, and even death if left untreated. Adequate calcium intake is an important part of avoidance.
According to a large inspection, calcium supplements (over 1g/day) cut the risk of preeclampsia in half.
Supplementation is particularly important when you don’t get sufficient calcium in food. The World Health Organization urges 1.5-2 g/day for pregnant women with low dietary calcium intake. Consult your physician before supplementing to rule out any risks or interactions.
3) Reducing the Risk of Falls in the Elderly
A Review analysis of over 16,000 elderly people discovered that a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplements decreased the risk of falls. Falls are a huge hazard for the older and often lead to serious or even deadly fractures.
There Is no doubt that adequate vitamin D and calcium balance is important for bone and total health in the elderly. Together, these nutrients help maintain normal position and muscle-nerve communication.
However, Some findings concerning their mix in nutritional supplements are less conclusive, using a number of studies failing to find any advantage.
Even though Some conflicting consequences usually exist, the evidence overall suggests that calcium supplementation may help reduce the risk of falls in the elderly. It is important to discuss with the physician if it may be helpful in each specific case.
Overall, vitamin D-calcium supplements may improve posture and reduce the chance of falls in the elderly. Their combination is safe and cheap, but more research is needed to determine how well it works.
4) PMS Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is very common and the exact causes are varied. According to many clinical trials with women experiencing PMS, calcium supplements can alleviate lots of the symptoms of PMS. Supplementation helped with PMS-related anxiety, melancholy, exhaustion, and water retention.
Even though A bit limited, the evidence suggests that calcium supplements may help with PMS symptoms. You may use them for this purpose if your doctor determines that they might help in your case.
5) Preventing Colon Cancer
According to several inspection studies, calcium supplements might help prevent colon cancer or reduce the risk of it coming back. The majority of the trials found that calcium supplements were better when taken with vitamin D at precisely the exact same time.
The Majority of the studies, however, didn’t take lifestyle and dietary Factors under the account. These may have a huge influence on colon cancer risk; they modify the intestine flora and eventually affect the balance between disease and health.
Calcium Supplements may aid in colon cancer prevention by protecting cells from the colon lining from the damaging effects of free bile and fatty acids. Another way calcium may work is by activating a pathway called APC/beta-catenin, which becomes underactive early in colon cancer. Vitamin D, then, helps break down bile acids and enhances DNA repair.
Evidence suggests that calcium supplements might help prevent colon cancer, though we can identify some flaws in the studies. Go over this usage with your doctor and never exceed the maximum recommended dose.
Overall, getting sufficient amounts of calcium from supplements or food and maintaining your vitamin D levels in check might lower your risk of colon cancer.
6) Acid Reflux
Calcium Carbonate is a popular treatment for heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. Most Men and Women understand it as Tums, Rolaids, and Chooz. Being alkaline, calcium carbonate neutralizes stomach acid. One study demonstrated that it helps clear acid in the esophagus (food pipe).
Its Ability to neutralize stomach acid doesn’t last long, however. Compared to a histamine-2 antagonist (famotidine/Pepcid), calcium carbonate simply worked for 60 mins, whilst famotidine lasted for 9 hours.
Calcium carbonate doesn’t affect the quantity of stomach acid that you discharge after a meal, as confirmed in a single clinical trial.
If Your reflux is mild or temporary, calcium carbonate might help. But in case you have chronic reflux and indigestion, long-term antacid usage isn’t a good idea. Many nutrients depend on stomach acid for absorption. Gradually lowering your stomach acid can result in nutrient deficiencies in the long term.
Another Issue with low stomach acid is bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Stomach acid is the first line of protection against food- or waterborne infections. When stomach acid gets too low, it can no longer protect against bacteria. Bacteria can then sneak into the intestines, resulting in a range of problems.
Instead Of relying on antacids, work with your doctor to check into the causes of your acid reflux rather. In many cases, acid reflux can be improved or removed with simple lifestyle modifications. This includes avoiding trigger foods (e.g. fatty and salty foods, chocolate, fizzy drinks), exercise, and raising the head of your mattress. Medication such as histamine-2 antagonists and PPI inhibitors may work for more serious cases.
You may also want to check into herbal bitters and digestive enzymes as additional remedies that may help with indigestion and acid reflux.
To Sum it up, calcium carbonate may alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux briefly, but it might do more damage than good in the long run. Discuss other, more effective treatments and lifestyle changes with your doctor.
1) Fatty Liver Disease
Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with liver disease. Low vitamin D status eventually reduces calcium absorption and can result in bone diseases.
In two trials of 120 individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, calcium and vitamin D enhanced many markers of liver damage and heart health (ALT, AST, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol). Vitamin D alone did not improve liver health.
All these Findings highlight the tight synergy between calcium and vitamin D and their importance for bone, liver, and cardiovascular health. However, they are inadequate to claim for certain that the mix improves fatty liver disease until the more clinical study is conducted.
In clinical trials, calcium decreased several markers of inflammation, including IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, and C-reactive protein (CRP). Furthermore, adequate levels of the mineral can raise the master antioxidant glutathione in cells.
But, supplementing is not always such a good idea. The causes of inflammation are extremely diverse and calcium can do more damage than good in certain scenarios. For example, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis taking calcium supplements were more likely to die (from some other cause or heart disease), based on the results of a current Norweigan analysis.
Even though Some findings indicate that calcium reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, the results have been combined. More clinical trials are required to shed some light on the potential therapeutic effects of calcium carbonate in people with inflammatory issues.
A clinical trial of 53 people discovered that calcium and vitamin D improved weight reduction when coupled with a limited diet. The dosages used were 600 mg calcium and 125 IU vitamin daily.
But a recent review of 41 studies concluded that calcium supplements do not increase weight loss.
Limitations and Caveats
Some Studies suggest calcium supplements carry health risks and don’t reduce fracture risk. Experts are still debating whether calcium supplements are helpful or if dietary intake is the only way to go. In addition to this, many studies don’t take co-factors like magnesium or vitamin K2 into account.
The future study has yet to clear the conflicting findings of calcium supplements.
This listing does not cover all potential side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you see any other side effects.
Call Your own doctor for medical advice about side effects. In the US, you may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. Back in Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Risk of Kidney Stones
The most well-known side effect of calcium supplements is a modestly increased risk of kidney stones. Data from studies indicate that around 17% increased risk. The chance of this occurring may be lowered by using the calcium citrate form. Calcium citrate reduces the creation and development of the most common kidney stones (oxalic acid).
Another relatively common side effect of calcium supplements is stomach upset. Symptoms may include constipation, bloating and cramping. Heartburn and nausea are also possible. Calcium carbonate is probably to cause these issues, as it requires stomach acid for absorption. So again, deciding on the citrate form can minimize this side effect.
Decreased Nutrient Absorption
Calcium Carbonate can impair iron absorption when taken with meals. For girls, whose demands of iron is greater than men’s, it is safer to take this supplement away from meals.
When Using calcium carbonate as an antacid, do not take it for more than 2 weeks. Gradually lowering your stomach acid might possibly lead to nutrient deficiencies and bacterial overgrowth in the long run.
Below, We’ll go over some potential security problems of calcium supplementation or even excess calcium intake. The majority of research covered in this article deal with institutions only, meaning that a cause-and-effect relationship has not been established. Furthermore, lots of the ailments are complicated, meaning other factors that may vary from one person to another (environmental, dietary, genetics) could also play significant roles in their development.
Some studies have found that calcium supplements increase the risk of heart disease. However, several large reviews believe the evidence too weak to draw any reliable conclusions.
A 2012 review of 16 research and above 350k people didn’t find a connection between heart disease and calcium supplements.
Two More recent reviews similarly found no evidence of increased risk of cardiovascular disease, finishing that calcium consumption from all sources below 2,500 mg/day is safe.
Reviews By expert panels including the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the American Society for Preventive Cardiology, and the International Foundation for Osteoporosis — this up view.
There Have been some worries that high calcium intake in males may increase their risk of prostate cancer. Research on this isn’t consistent, yet.
A review study including more than 900k men aged 50-70 Years found that high calcium intake will not increase the risk of prostate cancer. More than 750 mg a day was associated with a greater risk.
Other studies have found that the chance of prostate cancer simply increases substantially when calcium intake is over 2,000 milligrams a day.
One Reason high calcium intake may increase the chance of cancer is that it puts extra demand on vitamin D. The more calcium you take, the vitamin D you need. Vitamin D is also known to protect cells. So make sure you get adequate vitamin D if you supplement with calcium.
The Hazards of Getting Over You Will Need
The Safety and effectiveness of calcium supplements may ride on your own dietary calcium intake. According to a trial with over 60k women, nutritional supplements increased the risk of death just in those who got over 1,400 mg/day from meals.
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Calcium
With Calcium, more is not better. Below will be the maximum daily levels of calcium you should not transcend, including the two supplements and food resources. About 5% of women over age 50 years exceed these levels by nearly 400 mg/day.
Going Over the top tolerable levels for a brief while is unlikely to cause any difficulties, but doing so in the very long term is dangerous.
Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
0–6 months 1,000 milligrams 1,000 milligrams
7–12 months 1,500 mg 1,500 mg
1–8 years 2,500 mg 2,500 mg
9–18 years 3,000 milligrams 3,000 mg 3,000 mg 3,000 mg
19–50 years 2,500 milligrams 2,500 mg 2,500 mg 2,500 mg
51+ years 2,000 mg 2,000 mg
The Gender Effect
Observational analysis of over 130k people revealed that men who supplement with over 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day are at an elevated risk of heart disease. The identical dosage didn’t increase the risk in women.
Over-supplementing Calcium can come at the cost of other nutrient deficiencies. When you increase your calcium intake, you need to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of:
- Vitamin D
Vitamin K (especially K2)
All these Are important nutrients that help calcium operate optimally within the body. If you lack some of them, you can set off a chain of imbalances.
The importance of vitamin D status in people taking calcium supplements cannot be overstated.
We’ve already seen that vitamin D and calcium work in close synergy. Vitamin D maintains blood calcium levels, increases calcium absorption, and works together with calcium to boost bone, muscle, and heart health. They were used in conjunction with many studies.
Make Sure to keep your vitamin D levels via regular sun exposure and adequate dietary sources. Alternatively, consider trimming.
Magnesium Maintains calcium blood levels and is needed for the creation and activation of vitamin D. The ratio of calcium to magnesium in your food or supplements is much more important than the dosage of each.
According To conventional guidance, the best ratio is probable 2:1, which means you need twice as much calcium as calcium. Shifting this balance slightly up (to 2.6:1) or down (to 1.7:1) may have detrimental health consequences.
Nonetheless, it feels like most Americans are getting 3 times the amount of calcium to magnesium (3:1 ratio) — only from food!
Investigators speculate on the relative abundance of calcium at the expense of magnesium in modern diets is forcing many chronic health problems — from diabetes to heart and bone diseases.
Assure you are getting enough magnesium relative to calcium from both foods and supplements.
Vitamin K2 helps calcium build bones while preventing the accumulation of calcium in blood vessels and soft tissues (calcification). But the typical Western diet is low in this vitamin! Increasing vitamin K2 intake may reduce many health dangers linked to calcium supplementation.
Many kinds of Vitamin K2 exist, but the MK-7 type, specifically, increases bone strength and reduces artery hardening.
Increase Your vitamin K2 intake if you are taking calcium supplements. Some good vitamin K2 food resources are dairy and fat from grass-fed creatures, egg yolk, organ meats, and fermented foods.
Heavy Metal Contamination
Calcium supplements can be infected with heavy metals. Analyses discovered lead levels above the safe limits in certain goods. The”natural resources” of calcium (dolomite, coral calcium, oyster shell) contained the greatest levels of lead: 4-12x which of refined supplements!
Supplement/Herb/Nutrient-drug Interactions could be dangerous and, in rare circumstances, even life-threatening. Always consult your doctor before supplementing and inform them about all medications and nutritional supplements you’re using or contemplating.
Speak with Your Doctor before supplementing if you Take any prescription medicine to rule out harmful interactions. Because calcium carbonate can decrease absorption, do not take it within 1-2 hours of any medications. Be especially cautious with these drugs:
- Ceftriaxone: can result in life-threatening damage to the lungs and kidneys
- Antacids (TUMS, Rolaids, Chooz): combining these can result in an overdose of calcium
- Dolutegravir, Elvitegravir
- Digoxin (Lanoxin)
- Etidronate (Didronel)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Tetracycline (Sumycin)
Calcium supplements are likely safe if you do not exceed the maximum recommended amounts and get sufficient quantities of other critical nutrients. If you are already eating lots of calcium-rich foods (supplying over 1,400 mg/day), supplementing is unnecessary and might raise your chance of heart disease.
Most Adults need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Women over 50 years require a bit longer: 1,200 mg each day. Teens, pregnant and nursing women should aim for at least 1,300 mg calcium per day.
The Amount of supplemental calcium you need depends on your daily diet. If your dietary intake is low, you can supplement with up to 1,000 mg/day, unless directed otherwise by a doctor. Divided doses of no more than 500 mg operate best.
Aim to receive 1,000-1,400 mg of calcium per day from both food and supplements and talk with your physician how to accomplish this objective.
The typical daily calcium doses in clinical trials were as follows:
- Bone health: 1,000 to 1,200 mg
- Colon cancer: 1,200 to 2,000 mg
- Fatty liver disease: 500 milligrams
- Blood pressure: 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams
- Preeclampsia: 1,000 milligrams
- PMS: 1,000 to 1,200 mg
- Illness: 1,000 milligrams
This puts the typical calcium dose in a range between 1,000 and 1,200 mg/day.
For Acid reflux and indigestion, it is suggested to take 2-4 tablets of Tums (comprising 750-1,000 milligrams of calcium carbonate per tablet) per day, as needed.
Calcium Carbonate may strengthen bones, reduce the chance of colon cancer, and Enhance fatty liver disease. Additionally, it may relieve heartburn. On the Drawback, it can cause stomach upset and kidney stones. Conflicting Evidence linked its use to health risks, most of which could be avoided by Getting sufficient quantities of different nutrients (vitamin D, magnesium and Vitamin K). If you’re eating Lots of calcium-rich foods, you should not supplement it. Going on the maximum tolerable intake may damage your health. Taking calcium carbonate for indigestion and acid reflux may perform More harm than good in the long run. Look to Address the underlying cause Of your digestion problems rather.