10 Calcium Benefits And Side Effects

Calcium is the most important mineral element in the human body. About 99% of the calcium in the body is used to form bones and teeth, and the remaining 1% is distributed in the blood, intracellular fluid, muscles, and tissues, but don’t underestimate this 1%, it is responsible for cell metabolism, muscle contraction, blood clotting, nerve conduction, hormone secretion, and other important tasks. If the calcium concentration is unbalanced, it will seriously endanger life.

Calcium deficiency in the diet is often found to be associated with various diseases, such as obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, etc., and calcium concentration markers in the body are also importantly related to blood sugar/insulin balance, diabetes, and blood lipid.

Do you calcium benefits and side effects?

Table of Contents

Why supplement calcium tablets?

According to the survey, 90% of the people in China are generally deficient in calcium due to westernized diets. The calcium intake is only 430 mg per day, which is far lower than the 1,000 mg recommended by the World Health Organization. In addition to the excessive intake of processed foods, exercise is insufficient. The lack of calcium is even worse.

What are the benefits of calcium tablets recommended?

1. Slow down bone loss and reduce the incidence of fractures

After entering middle and old age, affected by hormones and various factors, the rate of bone loss will be greater than that of growth, and bones will begin to appear pores, and even toughness and strength will decline, especially for women (the incidence of osteoporosis after menopause is 50% ).

Because bone loss is asymptomatic and is often referred to as a silent disease, as the age increases, the incidence of fractures increases.

It is estimated that there are more than 2 million osteoporosis-related fractures each year in the United States alone, of which 300,000 are the most severe hip fractures (up to 24% fatality rate for the elderly), resulting in tens of billions of dollars Medical expenses in US dollars (almost equivalent to cardiovascular disease).

A meta-analysis (including 29 studies, 63,897 participants) found that taking calcium tablets and vitamin D in addition to slowing the bone loss rate of the hip and spine, also reduced the incidence of various forms of fractures by 12%.

The author also mentioned that in order to achieve the best preventive effect, it is recommended to take at least 1200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D daily.

Another meta-analysis (including 8 studies, 30,970 participants) pointed out that for middle-aged and elderly populations, supplementation of calcium tablets and vitamin D can help reduce the total fracture risk by 15% and hip fracture by 30% risk.

*Conclusion: Appropriate supplementation of calcium and vitamin D can help reduce bone loss and reduce the incidence of fractures.

2. Reduce the incidence of esophageal cancer

Esophageal cancer is rarely explored among general cancers and ranks about 6th among common cancers. It is characterized by high aggressiveness and low survival rate and is generally classified as squamous cell carcinomas (37%) or adenocarcinoma (Adenocarcinomas, 57%).

A retrospective study found that the main risk factors for esophageal cancer are: obesity, gastroesophageal reflux, smoking, frequent drinking of hot mouth drinks, excessive red meat intake, poor oral hygiene, low fruit, and vegetable intake, and Barrett esophagus etc.

A meta-analysis of literature indicates that (Meta-Analysis, including 17 studies, 3396 cases of gastroesophageal cancer and 346,815 control groups), compared with those with the lowest calcium intake, those who ingested more calcium from the diet can reduce 20 % Incidence of esophageal cancer.

The subgroup analysis also found that the protective effect of calcium intake is most significant for esophageal squamous cell cancer, and especially for Asians (less obvious help for Europeans and Americans).

*Summary: A diet rich in calcium helps reduce the incidence of esophageal cancer.

3. Reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer accounts for only 4% of cancer cases (about 200,000 diagnosed cases worldwide each year), but it is a more malignant type of cancer among women, especially the survival rate has not improved much in the past 50 years, mainly due to the lack of Effective screening method (only 30% of patients can be found in the early stage).

A literature analysis indicates that (Meta-Analysis, including 15 epidemiological studies, 7453 cases of ovarian cancer and 493,415 participants), dietary calcium intake, and ovarian cancer show an inverse relationship, the group with the highest intake has more Low incidence of ovarian cancer.

The underlying mechanism may be related to the regulation of parathyroid hormone and the reduction of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) secretion by calcium.

*IGF-1 has the effect of promoting cell division and anti-apoptosis.

*Summary: Calcium (from the natural diet) intake is more, there is a lower incidence of ovarian cancer.

4. Reduce breast cancer risk

Breast cancer ranks first among women’s predisposed cancers and is a malignant tumor formed by abnormal division and expansion of breast duct or lobular cells.

Breast cancer is rich in blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and lymph nodes. If the cancer cells are out of control, they can easily metastasize and spread to surrounding organs or tissues. Therefore, early detection is related to whether it can be cured.

A meta-analysis (including 11 generation studies, 872,895 participants) pointed out that those who took the most can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 8% compared with the group with the least calcium intake.

In addition, every 300 mg increase in the daily intake of calcium in the diet can help reduce the risk of cancer ranging from 2% to 8%.

The underlying mechanism is still unclear, but it may be related to the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis by calcium.

5. Beneficial dyslipidemia

Hyperlipidemia is mainly defined as total cholesterol and low-density cholesterol exceeding the standard value and is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease (about 90.1% of patients with coronary heart disease have excessive blood lipids).

According to US statistics, 48% of the adult population is dyslipidemia, and the increase in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is the most common.

Many clinical studies have also found that as long as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can be reduced by 40%, and 30% increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 70%.

A meta-analysis (including 22 randomized controlled trials) pointed out that additional calcium supplementation can help regulate blood lipids, reduce low-density bad cholesterol, and increase high-density good cholesterol, with an average decrease of 4.64 mg/dL And 1.93 mg/dL, but due to the short duration of the included research trials (mostly less than 6 months), more long-term studies need to be further verified.

The underlying mechanism is believed to be related to calcium uptake that can regulate Calcitrophic hormone, and can further promote lipolysis and reduce lipid storage.

6. Reduce the risk of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer ranks third among common cancers (accounting for 10% of all cases), second only to lung cancer and prostate cancer in men, and breast and lung cancer in women.

The survival rate of colorectal cancer is closely related to the stage of diagnosis. Generally speaking, the 5-year survival rate of the lesion in situ at the time of diagnosis is 90%. If the survival rate will be greatly reduced to 10% during metastasis, early detection is very important.

A large observational study (including 88,509 women and 47,740 men, with a follow-up period of 33 years) found that observation subjects with a total daily calcium intake (from food or health food) greater than 1400 mg can reduce colorectal cancer by 22% risk (compared to the intake of less than 600 mg).

The study found that the preventive effect of calcium intake is more pronounced for proximal colon cancer (the anterior mid-segment colon connected to the small intestine) (compared to distant colon cancer/distal colon cancer, the colon close to the anal opening).

*Proximal colon cancer refers to (cecum/cecum, ascending colon/ascending colon, transverse colon/transverse colon site cancer), which is a relatively malignant type of colorectal cancer.

7. Cardiovascular disease risk

In addition to cancer, cardiovascular disease is the second-largest health threat to humans. According to the well-known Framingham Heart Study in the United States, heart disease often manifests as a sudden, especially men, with 62% Sudden death or myocardial infarction in a single attack, and as high as 46% of women, this means that heart disease often kills people without warning, which makes people unpredictable.

Several studies have found that calcium is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease mortality. For example, in a large observation (for 30,000 menopausal women), calcium supplementation (whether from food or health food) can reduce Mortality of ischemic heart disease Note 4 (The underlying mechanism may be related to calcium’s ability to regulate blood lipid and glucose metabolism and improve blood pressure).

Later, other observations made different conclusions, that calcium supplementation increased the risk of cardiovascular disease, which caused a lot of panics. But so far this view has not been confirmed, nor has the same result been found.

Recent observations in other large databases have also been verified (up to 3-7 years) and found that additional calcium or vitamin D supplementation does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (such as myocardial infarction, angina, and acute arterial symptoms).

8. Relieve symptoms of premenstrual discomfort

About 75% of women of childbearing age experience various mild physical and mental discomfort before menstruation, 20% to 50% are moderate, and the other 5% are more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), possible symptoms Irritability, nervousness, frustration, breast pain, abdominal pain, etc., often severely interfere with daily life.

In the menstrual cycle, there are two peaks of estrogen, which are lutein increase (ovulation phase) and luteal phase, and these two periods are when the calcium concentration is the lowest.

It is also found clinically that the symptoms of premenstrual discomfort happen to overlap with hypocalcemia, so calcium supplementation can relieve many premenstrual and mental symptoms (such as irritability, anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, headache, Abdominal cramps, etc.).

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has published a double-control study and found that taking calcium tablets can improve the symptoms of premenstrual discomfort by 48% (using a rating scale analysis), compared with only 30% of the placebo group (at the same time 4 core Symptoms such as negative emotions, edema, food cravings, and pain have decreased significantly).

9. Reduce the incidence of diabetes

Diabetes is a rising disease in countries all over the world. There are 41 million people at risk in the United States alone, but only 1 million people are diagnosed each year. Due to the explosion of the obese population, according to the World Health Organization assessment, by 2025, about 300 million people worldwide will suffer from diabetes.

In addition to increased blood sugar, diabetes also affects blood lipid metabolism. If high blood pressure is added, the incidence of cardiovascular disease will be increased several times, and various complications will occur early, such as nerve, kidney, and retinopathy.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology mentioned that calcium or vitamin D deficiency has a direct effect on insulin secretion, and large observations have found that daily intake of more calcium (more than 1200 mg daily) and vitamin D (more than daily 800 IU), which can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33%.

10. Beneficial weight management

Excessive weight is not only a significant change in appearance but also a threat to life and health. According to estimates, 2.3 billion people in the world are overweight, 700 million people are overweight (overweight is defined as the body mass index (BMI) From 25.0 to 29.9, overweight is more than 30 kg/m2).

The over-expanded fat cells are like an inflammation factory, which secretes various inflammatory hormones (especially interleukin-6/IL-6), and triggers an inflammatory reaction, increasing the incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.

Over the past few decades, epidemiology has continuously found that higher calcium intake in the diet (especially from dairy products) can have a lower obesity rate.

In a double-blind controlled study (for 32 obese people and given a low-calorie diet), it was found that the diet contained more calcium (whether from milk or calcium tablets) and its body weight and body fat were more obvious Decreased, and the only difference is that the intake of more dairy products has better results, (than the group taking calcium tablets).

A meta-analysis (including 33 studies, 4733 participants) pointed out that compared with the control group, calcium intake did not significantly change the weight effect

However, after further consideration of age, gender, body mass index and length of supplementation, it was found that proper calcium supplementation (from diet or supplements) does help to reduce weight (especially for normal body mass index, children, adolescents, and adult males) and women before menopause. Note 1

The underlying mechanism is related to the combination of calcium: fatty acids, promoting the excretion of fat in feces, regulating intestinal flora, reducing fat accumulation, and increasing static energy consumption.

Are there any side effects of calcium tablets?

Possible side effects of calcium supplementation include constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Excessive doses may cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, kidney damage, irregular heart rate, and polyuria (hypercalcemia symptoms).

For the average person, the daily upper limit of calcium intake is 2500 mg (including food and additional sources). If it exceeds this, adverse reactions may occur and even hinder the absorption of other minerals (such as zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, etc.).


Do not use with antibiotics Ceftriaxone, Gentamicin, may cause dangerous side effects

Do not use in combination with osteoporosis bisphosphonates, high blood pressure medications (Beta-blockers or Calcium-channel blockers), cholesterol-lowering drugs (bile acid sequestrants), thyroid hormones, antibiotics (Quinolones, Tetracyclines), which may interfere with medications affect

Do not use with calcitriol, which may cause hypercalcemia

Williams syndrome (Williams-Beuren syndrome/gene defect disease) Do not take calcium tablets and vitamin D, hypercalcemia may occur

Taking too much calcium tablets during pregnancy may cause fetal abnormalities

Patients with hyperparathyroidism, renal failure, or cancer may be at high risk of hypercalcemia and should be avoided or supplemented with caution

If you have kidney stones, please take calcium tablets with caution or discuss with your doctor, although kidney stones and calcium supplements are not directly related

Some antiepileptic drugs (Tegretol, Dilantin) may reduce the body’s calcium concentration, so it is recommended that the two should be taken at intervals (at least 2 hours) to avoid possible conflicts of action

Do not mix with digoxin, a cardiology drug, which may cause cardiotoxicity

Where to buy the most recommended calcium tablets?

In recent years, food safety problems in various countries have exploded, and it is not healthy but black-hearted products that everyone spends on. Therefore, European and American products with relatively strict quality control have become popular products.

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