CALCIUM DEFICIENCY, SUPPLEMENTS, BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS
Calcium rich vegetables include raw Chinese cabbage (bok choy; 74 mg of calcium per serving and drained broccoli (71.6 mg
of calcium per serving), collards (226 mg of calcium per serving), turnip greens (197 mg of calcium per serving). tofu (204 mg
of calcium), and orange (56 mg of calcium preserving).
If you have trouble getting enough calcium in your diet, you may need to take a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium
you will need from a supplement depends on how much calcium you obtain from food sources. There are several different
calcium compounds used in supplements, such as calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium phosphate among others. These
compounds contain different amounts of elemental calcium, which is the actual amount of calcium in the supplement. It is
important to read the label carefully to determine how much elemental calcium is in the supplement and how many doses or
pills to take.
Except in people with gastrointestinal disease, all major forms of calcium supplements are absorbed equally well when taken
Calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less) several times throughout the day. In
many individuals, calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken with food. It is important to check supplement labels
to ensure that the product meets United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards.
Calcium supplements are available without a prescription in a wide range of preparations and strengths, which can make
selecting one a confusing experience. Many people ask which calcium supplement they should take. The ?best? supplement
is the one that meets your needs. Ask yourself these questions: How well does my body tolerate this kind of supplement?
Does it cause any side effects (like gas or constipation)? If so, you may want to try another kind or a different brand. Is this
kind of supplement convenient? Can I remember to take it as often as recommended each day? Is the cost of this
supplement within my budget? Is it widely available? Can I buy it at a store near me?
BRANDS OF CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS
Choose calcium supplements with familiar brand names. Look for labels that state ?purified? or have the USP (United States
Pharmacopeia) symbol. Avoid calcium from unrefined oyster shell, bone meal, or dolomite without the USP symbol, because it
may contain high levels of lead or other toxic metals. Make sure that GMP statement is included in the product label.
Special Note on Coral Calcium 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken legal action against a group of individuals and companies in connection with
the advertising and sale of a dietary supplement called Coral Calcium Supreme. The FTC alleged that the marketers--Kevin
Trudeau, Robert Barefoot, and their companies--violated the FTC Act by claiming, falsely or without substantiation, that Coral
Calcium Supreme can treat or cure cancer, multiple sclerosis, lupus, heart disease, and chronic high blood pressure.
Coral Calcium Supreme is a dietary supplement supposedly made of marine coral from Okinawa, Japan.
In January 2004, a Federal court ruled in favor of the FTC against defendant Robert Barefoot and his companies Deonna
Enterprises, Inc., and Karbo Enterprises, Inc., prohibiting them from making unsupported health claims about their product or
any other coral calcium product or dietary supplement. The defendants are required to recall any product packaging that
makes these claims and to notify resellers and distributors of their products about the FTC's action. The FTC is allowed to
recover all of Robert Barefoot's royalties associated with Coral Calcium Supreme infomercial marketing.
The case against Kevin Trudeau and his companies is still pending.
In related efforts, the FTC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to Web site operators making similar
claims about coral calcium products. The agencies warned the operators to remove any false or deceptive claims from their
Web sites immediately.
[SOURCE: Coral Calcium, Consumer Advisory, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Online Publication,
January 9, 2006]
Most brand-name calcium products are absorbed easily in the body. If you are not sure about your product, you can find out
how well it dissolves by placing it in a small amount of warm water for 30 minutes and stirring it occasionally. If it hasn?t
dissolved within this time, it probably will not dissolve in your stomach. Chewable and liquid calcium supplements dissolve
well because they are broken down before they enter the stomach.
Calcium, whether from food or supplements, is absorbed best by the body when it is taken several times a day in amounts
of 500 mg or less, but taking it all at once is better than not taking it at all. Calcium carbonate is absorbed best when taken
with food. Calcium citrate can be taken anytime.
Calcium supplements are available in a bewildering array of combinations with vitamins and other minerals. Calcium
supplements often come in combination with vitamin D, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium. However, calcium
and vitamin D do not need to be taken together and/or in the same preparation in order to be absorbed by the body.
Minerals such as cobalt magnesium and phosphorus also are important but usually are obtained through food or
multivitamins. Most experts recommend that nutrients come from a balanced diet, with multivitamins used to supplement
Calcium supplements side effects
Tolerance: For certain people, some calcium supplements may cause side effects such as gas or constipation. If simple
measures (such as increasing your intake of fluids and high-fiber foods) do not solve the problem, you should try another
form of calcium. Also, it is important to increase the dose of your supplement gradually: take just 500 mg a day for a week,
then slowly add more calcium. Do not take more than the recommended amount of calcium without your doctor?s approval.
Calcium Interactions: It is important to talk with a doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions between your over-the-
counter and prescription medications, and calcium supplements. For example, calcium supplements may reduce the
absorption of the antibiotic tetracycline. Calcium also interferes with iron absorption. So you should not take a calcium
supplement at the same time as an iron supplement - unless the calcium supplement is calcium citrate, or unless the iron
supplement is taken with vitamin C. Any medication that you need to take on an empty stomach should not be taken with
Do not overdose yourself with calcium supplement or related products, though studies have shown that doses as high as 2-
3 g of calcium carbonate (i.e. maximum 1200 mg of calcium) a day appear was not associated with prostate risk. [4,6]
Actually, iron, zinc, and calcium are all involved in the metabolism of reactive oxygen species and may compete with each
other for similar binding sites. Excessive dietary intakes of these micronutrients have been associated with altered risks of
colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.  Excessive calcium may lead to serious side effects. Gao X and co-workers at
Tufts University, Boston, observed that high intake of dairy products and calcium is associated with an increased risk of
prostate cancer in a meta-analysis of various studies.  While, Tseng M and co-workers from Cox Chase Cancer Center,
Philadelphia, further suggested that dietary calcium was strongly associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. 
Calcium is absorbed from food in excess and is lost into the urine. This high level of calcium in the urine causes crystals of
calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate to form in the kidneys or urinary tract. Some diuretics and calcium-based antacids may
increase the risk of forming kidney stones by increasing the amount of calcium in the urine.  One epidemiologic trial found
that supplemental calcium increased the risk of kidney stones by 20%.  Unlike calcium supplements, dairy, the key source
of dietary calcium, may have factors that prevent the rise in urinary calcium including citrate and phosphate. Actually, the
data that dietary calcium prevents kidney stones is still controversial. There is no trial that has directly compared higher
calcium intake to lower calcium intake. [8,9]
REMOVAL OF EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF CALCIUM
Chelation is a chemical process in which a substance is used to bind molecules, such as metals or minerals, and hold them
tightly so that they can be removed from a system, such as the body. In medicine, chelation has been scientifically proven to
rid the body of excess or toxic metals. For example, a person who has lead poisoning may be given chelation therapy in
order to bind and remove excess lead from the body before it can cause damage.
In the case of EDTA chelation therapy, the substance that binds and removes metals and minerals is EDTA (ethylene diamine
tetra-acetic acid), a synthetic, or man-made, amino acid that is delivered intravenously (through the veins). EDTA (the
calcium remover) was first used in the 1940s for the treatment of heavy metal poisoning (or build up). EDTA chelation
removes heavy metals and minerals from the blood, such as lead, iron, copper, and calcium, and is approved by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating lead poisoning and toxicity from other heavy metals. Although it is not
approved by the FDA to treat CAD, some physicians and alternative medicine practitioners have recommended EDTA
chelation as a way to treat this disorder. 
When used as approved by the FDA (at the appropriate dose and infusion rate) for treatment of heavy metal poisoning,
chelation with EDTA has a low occurrence of side effects. The most common side effect is a burning sensation experienced at
the site where the EDTA is delivered into the veins. Rare side effects can include fever, hypotension (a sudden drop in blood
pressure), hypocalcemia (abnormally low calcium levels in the blood and symptoms of low blood calcium), headache, nausea,
vomiting, and bone marrow depression (meaning that blood cell counts fall). Injury to the kidneys has been reported with
EDTA chelation therapy, but it is rare. Other serious side effects can occur if EDTA is not administered by a trained health
Collagen is a protein that provides a soft framework, and calcium phosphate is a mineral that adds strength and hardens
the framework. This combination of collagen and calcium makes bone strong and flexible enough to withstand stress. There
are two types of bone found in the body ? cortical and trabecular. Cortical bone is dense and compact. It forms the outer
layer of the bone. Trabecular bone makes up the inner layer of the bone and has a spongy, honeycomb-like structure.
Throughout life, bone is constantly renewed through resorption and formation. During resorption, old bone tissue is broken
down and removed by special cells called osteoclasts. During bone formation, new bone tissue is laid down to replace the
old. This task is performed by special cells called osteoblasts. Osteoclast and osteoblast function is regulated by several
hormones including calcitonin, parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, estrogen (in women) and testosterone (in men), among
During childhood and the teenage years, new bone is added to the skeleton faster than old bone is removed. As a result,
bones become larger, heavier, and denser. For most people, bone formation continues at a faster pace than removal until
bone mass peaks during the third decade of life. To make reach the greatest possible peak bone mass, one needs to get
enough calcium, vitamin D, and exercise.
After age 20, bone loss occurs. For many people, this bone loss can be prevented by continuing to get calcium, vitamin D,
and exercise and by avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use. Osteoporosis develops when bone removal occurs too
quickly or replacement occurs too slowly or both. You are more likely to develop osteoporosis if you did not reach your
maximum peak bone mass during your bone building years.
Women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. This is because women generally have smaller, thinner bones,
and because they can lose bone tissue rapidly in the first 4 to 8 years after menopause (PMS) due to the sharp decline in
production of the hormone estrogen. Produced by the ovaries, estrogen has been shown to have a protective effect on
bone. Women usually go through menopause between ages 45 and 55. After menopause, bone loss in women greatly
exceeds that in men. However, by age 65, women and men tend to lose bone tissue at the same rate. While men do not
undergo the equivalent of menopause, production of the male hormone testosterone may decrease, and this can lead to
increased bone loss and a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is preventable for many people. Prevention is important because while there are treatments for osteoporosis,
a cure has not yet been found. A comprehensive program that can help prevent osteoporosis includes: a balanced diet rich
in calcium and vitamin D, weight-bearing exercise, a healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive alcohol intake, bone
density testing and, when appropriate, medication.
The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, we can?t form enough of the hormone calcitriol
(known as the ?active vitamin D?). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In this situation, the
body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong,
new bone. You can get vitamin D in three ways: through the skin, from the diet, and from supplements.
Phytoestrogens and Bone Health
Many postmenopausal (PMS) women are looking for alternatives to hormone therapy. Of particular interest are
phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that are similar in some ways to estradiol, the
most potent naturally occurring estrogen. However, phytoestrogens tend to have weaker effects than most estrogens, are
not stored in the body, and can be easily broken down and eliminated. Observational studies have found a lower prevalence
of breast cancer, heart disease, and hip fracture rates among people living in places like Southeast Asia, where diets are
typically high in phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens consist of more than 20 compounds and can be found in more than 300 plants, such as herbs, grains, and
fruits. The three main classes of dietary phytoestrogens are isoflavones, lignans, and coumestans:
� Isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, glycitein, and equol) are primarily found in soy beans and soy products, chickpeas, and
� Lignans (enterolactone and enterodiol) are found in oilseeds (primarily flaxseed), cereal bran, legumes, and alcohol (beer
� Coumestans (coumestrol) can be found in alfalfa and clover.
Calcium also exists as calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium citrate calcium phosphate calcium hydroxide, calcium
gluconate, calcium carbide, calcium oxalate, calcium sulfate, calcium pyruvate, calcium silicate, calcium hypochlorite, calcium
nitrate, calcium oxide, docusate calcium, calcium bicarbonate, calcium alginate, ionized calcium, calcium disodium edta,
element calcium, calcium stearate, chelated calcium, calcium fluoride, calcium sulphate, calcium hydroxyapatite, citracal
calcium, calcium phosphorus, bio calcium, calcium aspartate, calcium propionate, calcium acetate.
THIS ARTICLE IS FOR YOUR REFERENCE ONLY. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTION, YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR. ALL RIGHTS
RESERVED zhion. DO NOT COPY NOR TRANSFER THIS ARTICLE TO OTHER WEBSITES NOR OTHER TYPES OF PUBLICATION.
Calcium Supplements: What to Look for, NIH Osteporosis and Related Bone Diseases-National Resource Center Online
Publication January 4, 2006. 2. Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age NIH Osteporosis and Related Bone Diseases-
National Resource Center Online Publication January 4, 2006. 3. Exercise for Your Bone Health NIH Osteporosis and Related
Bone Diseases-National Resource Center Online Publication January 4, 2006. 4. Phytoestrogens and Bone Health NIH
Osteporosis and Related Bone Diseases-National Resource Center Online Publication January 4, 2006. 5. What Is Bone? NIH
Osteporosis and Related Bone Diseases-National Resource Center Online Publication January 4, 2006.
 Calcium, Chemistry: WebElements Periodic Table Online Publication, January 4, 2006  Prospective studies of dairy
product and calcium intakes and prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis. Gao X et al, J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Dec 7;97(23):
1768-77.  Zhou W et al, Dietary iron, zinc, and calcium and the risk of lung cancer. Epidemiology. 2005 Nov;16(6):772-9.
 Tavani A et al, Dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and the risk of prostate cancer. Eur Urol. 2005 Jul;48(1):
27-33. Epub 2005 Apr 8.  Tseng M et al, Dairy, calcium, and vitamin D intakes and prostate cancer risk in the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Epidemiologic Follow-up Study cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 May;81(5):1147-54.  Baron
JA et al, Risk of prostate cancer in a randomized clinical trial of calcium supplementation. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev.
2005 Mar;14(3):586-9.  Curhan GC, WIlett WC, Speizer FE, Spiegelman D, Sttampfer MJ. Comparison of dietary calcium
with supplemental calcium and other nutrients as factors affecting the risk for kidney sotne s in women. Ann Intern Med
1997;126:497-504.  FDA Docket No. 2004Q-0102  Kidney Stones in Adults, National Kidney and Urologic Diseases
Information Clearinghouse, Online Publication, January 9, 2006.  Coral Calcium, Consumer Advisory, National Center for
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Online Publication, January 9, 2006.  Questions & Answers: The NIH Trial of
EDTA Chelation Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Online
Publication, January 9, 2006.  Shaoul R et al, Symptoms of hyperphosphatemia, hypocalcemia, and hypomagnesemia in
an adolescent after the oral administration of sodium phosphate in preparation for a colonoscopy. Gastrointest Endosc. 2001
May;53(6):650-2.  Classification, symptoms, and management of hyper- and hypocalcemia Nippon Rinsho. 1982;40(12):
2664-8.  Chowaniec O et al, Hypocalcemia with symptoms of tetany in the course of generalized pustular psoriasis 
Shin J et al, 2 dialysis cases which came to our clinic for the symptoms caused by hypercalcemia Clin Calcium. 2005 Sep;15
Suppl 1:87-91; discussion 91.  Mahon SM, Signs and symptoms associated with malignancy-induced hypercalcemia.
Cancer Nurs. 1989 Jun;12(3):153-60.
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
reference only, it is not a medical advice. All rights reserved. Do not copy this article to
other website or blog.
Hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency or lack of calcium) is a condition of low blood calcium. It may be resulted from low parathyroid hormone levels, kidney
failure, acute pancreatitis, insufficient magnesium, insufficient protein in the blood, or vitamin D deficiency. Symptoms of low calcium often do not occur
with mild calcium deficiency. As calcium deficiency becomes more severe, symptoms such as abnormal heart rhythms, muscle cramps, muscle twitching,
or seizures, burning, pricking, tickling, or tingling sensation (paresthesia) of the hands, feet, lips, and tongue occur. [12-14]
Hypercalcemia is an abnormally high blood calcium levels. It can be caused by hyperparathyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and overdoses of vitamin D
or calcium. Symptoms of high blood calcium levels may include sleeplessness, itching, headache, palpitation, apathy, akinesis, leanness, foot gangrene,
dehydration, confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and constipation. In long term, it may lead to vascular calcification. [12-16]
Benefits and uses of calcium
Calcium is essential for many functions in the body, including regulating the heartbeat, conducting nerve impulses, building and maintaining healthy
bones, stimulating hormone secretions and blood clotting.
Calcium is a mineral found in many foods. Getting enough of this nutrient is important because the human body cannot make it. Even after you are fully
grown, adequate calcium intake is important because the body loses calcium every day through the skin, nails, hair, and sweat, as well as through
urine and feces. This lost calcium must be replaced daily through the diet. Otherwise, the body takes calcium out of the bones to perform other
functions, which makes the bones weaker and more likely to break over time.
Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the
development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture
rates. National nutrition surveys have shown that most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones.
Consequently, calcium pills or supplements for children present a huge market.
The recommended calcium intake (based on National Academy of Sciences, 1997) for infants (0-6 months) is 210 mg, young kids (1-3 years) 500 mg,
kids (4-8 years) 800 mg, older kids (9-18) 1,300 mg, adult (19-50 years) 1,000 mg and older adult (50+) 1,200 mg.
While a balanced diet aids calcium absorption, high levels of protein and sodium (salt) in the diet are thought to increase calcium excretion through the
kidneys. Excessive amounts of these substances should be avoided, especially in those whose calcium intake is low.
Lactose intolerance also can lead to inadequate calcium intake. Those who are lactose intolerant have insufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase,
which is needed to break down the lactose found in dairy products. In order to include dairy products in the diet, dairy foods can be taken in small
quantities or treated with lactase drops, or lactase can be taken as a pill. There are even some milk products on the market that already have been
treated with lactase.
Experts recommend that adults get 1,000 to 1,200 mg (milligrams) of calcium each day. Although food is the best source of calcium, most Americans do
not get enough of it from food sources. Calcium-fortified foods (like orange juice, bread, cereals, and many others on your grocer?s shelves) and
calcium supplements can fill the gap by ensuring that you meet your daily calcium requirement.
LIST OF FOODS HIGH IN CALCIUM
Calcium in milk is about 300 mg per serving regardless if it is whole milk or skin milk. Other calcium rich foods include yogurt, cheese, sardines, tofu and
some types of vegetables.
One serving of milk (8 oz; whole, 1%, 2% or skim milk) provides about 300 mg of calcium. One serving of plain fat-free yogurt (8 oz) provides almost
500 mg of calcium. With extra additions of milk solids or fruit, the calcium content decreases (diluted). One serving (1 oz) of American cheese, Cheddar
cheese, Mozzarella cheese or Muenster cheese contains about 190 mg of calcium. One serving of (1/2 cup) of low or high-fat vanilla ice cream gives
you about 90 mg of calcium. Serving size of 3.75 oz of canned sardines provides 351 mg of calcium. One serving of salmon or shrimp (3 oz) provides
181 or 50 mg of calcium respectively. One cup of boiled soybean provides 261 mg of calcium and 254 calories at the same time. Serving size of 8 oz of
orange juice fortified with calcium contains 300 mg of calcium and 100 calories. One serving of dried figs (10) provides 270 mg of calcium and 477
calories. All foods discussed are good sources of calcium, but they also contain fats and calories. Serving size of one oz of nuts such as almonds,
sesame or sunflower seeds provide only 30-80 mg of calcium but 14-15 g of fat and about 165 calories!!