Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Is it possible to take too much calcium? Are there any negative effects to taking more calcium than you need?
A: Calcium taken in excessive amounts can cause numerous side effects, including dangerous or painful deposits of calcium within the body. If you have cancer, hyperparathyroidism, or sarcoidosis, you should only take calcium under the supervision of a physician.
People with kidney stones or a history of kidney stones are often cautioned not to take supplemental calcium. The reason for this warning is that kidney stones are commonly made of calcium oxalate crystals.
However, studies have found that increased intake of calcium from food actually reduces the risk of kidney stones. Calcium supplements, on the other hand, might increase kidney stone risk, especially if they are not taken with meals. The bottom line? If you have a history of kidney stones, consult your physician before taking calcium supplements.
In lieu of calcium supplements, you may find these specially formulated Traditions of Tao products helpful for strengthening bones: “DuraBone” and “Arthritis/Joint”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.