In a departure from typical clinical conclusions, researchers at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) say common supplements could elevate calcium levels too high, putting them at risk for kidney stones, among other health problems.
Women approaching menopause are commonly advised to take supplements containing calcium and Vitamin D to fend off diseases like osteoporosis to which they are particularly prone.
“I would recommend that women determine how much calcium they typically get through their food sources before taking a hefty calcium supplement. They may not need as much as they think,” says NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD.
Expert Commentary by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
• When people consume too much calcium without sufficient magnesium, not only will it create stress within the body but the excess calcium will not be utilized correctly and may become toxic because magnesium is essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium.
• Too much calcium and too little magnesium can cause some forms of arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis and calcification of the arteries, leading to heart attack and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Mehmet Oz says this about bone health: “Women with osteoporosis often are short on magnesium, which makes up 1 percent of the minerals in bone. That may sound piddlin’, but if you don’t have enough magnesium, bone crystals enlarge, making your bones more brittle and prone to fractures.”