COMMENTARY

Rethinking Calcium: Bone Health or Heartache?

Sandra A. Fryhofer, MD

Disclosures

October 25, 2010

In This Article

Rethinking Calcium Recommendations: Balancing Benefits and Minimizing Risks

Here's how I am rethinking what I tell my patients.

  1. For bone health, I will still encourage adequate calcium intake, along with vitamin D, 1000 IU. Don't forget the "D."

  2. I will spend more time talking to patients about dietary sources of calcium and discourage immediately turning to a calcium supplement.

  3. Calcium supplements should be used to help patients attain total recommended intake, not to augment daily intake. (I prefer calcium citrate.)

  4. This new study focuses on heart risks, but don't forget about kidney stones. Unlike supplements, dietary calcium is less likely to trigger stone formation.[11]

So, add some figs and a spoonful of almonds to your salad, and also sprinkle on some sesame seeds. This new study is another reminder that too much of a good thing may be bad for you, even calcium.

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