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Topic: How much calcium is too much?

Forum: Bone Health and Bone Loss — Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong

Posted on: Aug 12, 2017 09:28AM

peggy_j wrote:

What guidelines are people using to determine their upper limit of calcium? Different sources make different recommendations. Several years ago, a DDS told me that 1600 was the max to take each day (from food and supplements). A book on bone health recommended 1200-1500 for post-menopausal women. Then I read a study that said taking 1400 mg a day increases your risk for other problems, like heart attack. (Excess calcium gets stored in the veins and tissue).

I've also read things like...while spinach is high is calcium, it's high in something else that makes it hard to digest the calcium, so you aren't getting much calcium from spinach.. And that with supplements, the absorption rate can vary, depending on the type of calcium, whether you take it with food (good) or other things which could inhibit the absorption. I think I read that, while we want to take magnesium, it shouldn't be taken at the same time.

Is there a single good reliable resource on all of this? Thanks.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 12, 2017 09:59AM pupmom wrote:

I think you should just try to eat healthy food, meaning eliminate junk food and get enough of the recommended fruits and veggies every day. Other than that, supplements recommended by your doctor should be enough. Best wishes!

Life is what happens while we're making other plans. Dx 10/18/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 12, 2017 11:43AM Peacetoallcuzweneedit wrote:

Hi I am a registered dietitian. I can help -

2500mg is the upper tolerable limit for Calcium. This is usually adhered to when using supplements. Calcium needs Vit D in order for it to be absorbed through the digestive track. So while Calcium exists in some dark green leafy veges, it isn't going anywhere unless Vit D is there with it. Phytates usually are the binders to nutrients in veges and grains that will limit its absorption. However, cooking and other prep methods can negate some of the limiting action.

Calcium in foods or fortified foods that also provide Vit D is partially absorbed. HOWEVER in fortified nut and soy milks, it can and does in some amount precipitate to the bottom. It is typically difficult to overdose on Calcium from foods because of limiting factors during digestion. However, if you have kidney/renal issues, then it might be a different story --> meaning your bone health can be impacted.

Intake on a daily basis and yes there is controversy --> I usually recommend for my patients 1000mg/day + 600IUs Vit D + food intake. The Magnesium can inhibit Calcium because they both have 2 extra ions and can compete for the same absorption site. Magnesium toxicity is from supplement use as well. I recommend to get the majority of your calcium from foods and use the supplement as support. (if needed)


5/2017 Left Breast DCIS 5+cm Grade 3 6/2017 Right Breast IDC Stage 1A, Tmic 0.5mm, ER+/PR+/ HER2- 6/2017 BMX, SNB left, Reconstruction with TEs current
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Aug 12, 2017 12:02PM Peregrinelady wrote:

Peace, so will you still absorb the calcium if you don't take it the same time as the magnesium? I take a teaspoon of powdered magnesium every morning, then a calcium supplement and Vit D later in the day.

Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/18/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 12, 2017 12:02PM goodprognosis wrote:

Great info Peace

I've often been confused by all this. The one thing that terrifies me is osteoporosis. I've just done another DEXA scan and am waiting for the results. Last one said spinal osteopenia and Dr put me on BonViva once a month and calcium supplements 1000mg. daily.

Once thing to remember, some reflux treatments can prevent absorption of calcium tablets. I wonder if you might have any advice on that one Peace.

Many thanks,

goodprognosis-- "only another winding will this stream make, then shall I come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean." K Gibran Dx 8/22/2012, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/25/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 9/25/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 10/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/19/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2013
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Aug 14, 2017 10:11AM wallycat wrote:

I'm also a dietitian. I've worked with a wellness (and emergency) doctor. All we have read indicates that calcium supplements do very little for actually helping bone. DXA scans are also questionable (I posted an NPR article on how it all came about).

There's also a thread on prunes...which actually have been shown to rebuild bones (is it the boron content?) but many, like myself, cannot eat that many prunes without a reaction with their intestines (not good). There's also concern they can up estrogen, similar to alcohol, which also slightly improves bone density in post meno gals.


Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012

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