Calcium from Food Not Supplements

Recent research indicates with calcium more is not better.  Calcium from supplements may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney stones if you get too much calcium from supplements or if you already get enough calcium from your diet and take supplemental calcium.  Calcium supplements are thought to cause blood calcium levels to increase much more abruptly than calcium rich foods.  Mark Hegsted, a long time Harvard nutrition researcher, who died in 2009 at age 95, suggested that very high calcium intakes consumed for many years impaired the body's ability to regulate calcium resulting in a disruption of calcium absorption and excretion.

Some research suggests that it may be healthier to get calcium from a variety of plant foods because they contain other important bone building nutrients.  In the Women's Health Initiative study the women consuming more calcium from their diets were less likely to develop kidney stones so dietary calcium may act differently in regard to kidney stone formation than calcium supplements.   While calcium is necessary to good bone health, the strength of your bones depends more on everything you eat and how active you are than just how much calcium you consume.

The recommended amount of calcium for U.S. women is 1000 mg. for ages 19 to 50 and 1200 mg. for ages 51 and over. The recommended amount of calcium for U.S. men is 1000 mg. for ages 19 to 70 and 1200 mg. for over 70.