Our expert says:
Calcium supplements should best only be taken if prescribed by your gynae during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As a guide, supplements should not exceed 1000 to 1,500mg a day and if supplements are taken in combination with calcium rich foods, the total intake should not exceed 2,500mg per day.
Excess calcium can lead to constipation, bloating and excess gas production by the bowel. It can also lead to the formation of kidney stones and interfere with the body absorbing other minerals, such as iron. Very high doses can make the blood calcium levels abnormally high, causing headaches, irritability, tiredness, and in extreme cases kidney failure.
Calcium supplements are best taken in doses of 500mg (or less) two or three times a day, rather than one large dose once a day. This improves their absorption. Bear in mind that multivitamins containing small amounts of calcium will not provide adequate calcium as a supplement and if you try and take more of the multivitamins to consume adequate calcium, you may overdose on the other vitamins it contains.
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