Calcium - should I supplement with it?

Calcium supplements were once recommended to all people who were at risk of bone loss and osteoporosis, but in 2010 the British Medical Journal made us aware of the potential heart health risks associated with over-supplementation of calcium. We now know that the calcium that you do not absorb can end up in your arteries, cause hardening, and may increase your risk of a cardiac event.

So how much is too much?

At Executive Health Centre, we recommend that clients try to get, on average, 1000mg of calcium per day from their diet. Sardines and canned salmon are loaded with calcium, but for those who don't enjoy these fish, other rich dietary sources of calcium include nuts, seeds, legumes and dark leafy greens. Dairy foods are an option for those who tolerate them well. If you do not get enough calcium from your diet, be sure to only supplement with what you need, and never take more than 500mg of calcium at one time.

A calcium supplement that includes Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 and Magnesium is better than a supplement that contains calcium alone, as these vitamins are essential cofactors for bone health. And remember, when it comes to strong bones, daily weight bearing exercise is the best medicine.

Learn more by clicking on this link to view the Globe and Mail article published this week on calcium supplementation...

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