Calcium: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, And Warning

Calcium: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, And Warning

Calcium – essential mineral of bones and teeth. The heart, nerves, blood-clotting systems require calcium to work. Calcium-rich foods like milk and dairy products, kale, broccoli, calcium-bonafide citrus juices, mineral water, canned fish with bones, soy products, and supplements; are commonly consumed by mouth for the treatment and prevention of low calcium levels. 

In conditions linked with low calcium levels include muscle cramps (latent tetany), osteoporosis (weak bones due to low bone density), rickets (a condition in children involving softening of the bones), and osteomalacia (a softening of bones involving pain) taking calcium supplement becomes essential.  Calcium consumption orally reduces high levels of the parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism) and is a remedy against symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well.

How does it work?

The bones and teeth are composed of 99% of the calcium in the human body in Toto. Calcium is also making blood, muscles, and other tissue in our human body. 

Calcium Uses In Human Body

  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)-  calcium carbonate consumed orally is an effective antacid 
  • High levels of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia)-  calcium gluconate intravenously (by IV) used to treat heart issues caused by hyperkalemia
  • Low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia)-  treating and preventing hypocalcemia. 
  • Kidney failure- calcium carbonate or calcium acetate control high phosphate levels in the blood in cases of kidney failure. 
  • Bone loss due to corticosteroids consumption-  calcium along with vitamin D reduce the loss of bone mineral in cases with the side effect of corticosteroid drugs long-term usage
  • Overactive parathyroid (hyperparathyroidism) calcium aids reduce parathyroid in renal failure
  • Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis)- effective for preventing bone loss and treating osteoporosis. 
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).-  consuming an average of 1283 mg/day of calcium by female have about a 30% lower risk of PMS 
  • Colon cancer, rectal cancer- high intake of calcium in the diet or as a supplement reduces the risk of colorectal cancer
  • Increasing bone strength in the unborn baby- In pregnant female valium intake becomes beneficial for both mother and fetus bone mineral density
  • A condition caused by ingestion of too much fluoride (fluorosis)- calcium together with vitamin C, vitamin D supplements  reduce fluoride levels in children 
  • High cholesterol- calcium supplements along with a low-fat reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) 
  • High blood pressure- Calcium  reduce blood pressure by a small amount (usually around 1-2 mmHg) in people with or without high blood pressure in salt-sensitive people 
  • Softening of bones in children, often due to vitamin D deficiency (rickets)- due to very low calcium intake can also cause rickets.
  • Preventing tooth loss (tooth retention)- calcium and vitamin D  help prevent tooth loss in older people.
  • Breast cancer. Some research suggests that women who eat more calcium have a reduced risk for developing breast cancer. However, other research suggests that blood levels of calcium are not linked with breast cancer risk. Overall, most research suggests that taking calcium does not reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Fractures. Taking calcium alone or with vitamin D does not seem to prevent fractures in older people without osteoporosis.
  • Heart attack. Early research suggests that people who consume more calcium in their diet have a lower risk of having a heart attack. However, the effects of calcium SUPPLEMENTS on heart attack risk are not clear. Some research suggests that calcium supplements increase heart attack risk. Other research shows there is no effect. It may be that some people have an increased risk while others do not. For example, people who take calcium as a single supplement might have an increased risk. On the other hand, people who take calcium with vitamin D do not seem to have an increased risk. Also, people who take a calcium supplement and consume more than 805 mg/day of calcium as part of their diet might be at an increased risk, while people who take a supplement and consume less calcium in their diet might not.
  • Obesity. While low calcium intake has been linked with an increased risk of being overweight or obese, most studies show that getting more calcium from supplements or the diet does not improve weight loss in obese or overweight people.
  • Death from any cause. Research shows that taking calcium supplementation does not reduce the overall risk of death.
  • Cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer)- might reduce the risk of developing endometrial cancer.
  • Swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis).- Evidence suggests calcium phosphate-based mouth rinse reduces the duration of pain in people with mouth ulcers due to stem cell transplants.
  • Seizures.-control seizures occurring due to drops in blood levels of calcium.
  • Dizziness (vertigo).
  • Lyme disease.
  • Other conditions.

Side Effects For Calcium Supplements:-

Calcium recommended amounts= (about 1000-1200 mg daily)

 Calcium can cause some minor side effects such as belching or gas. 

Caution to remember: - calcium can be UNSAFE when taken in high doses

The tolerable dosage of calcium :

  1. 2000 mg for adults ages 19-50 years 
  2. 2000 mg for adults 51 years and older

The amount of calcium daily more than above mentioned upper-value increase the probability of serious side effects, such as:

  1. blood levels of calcium that are too high 
  2. milk-alkali syndrome
  3. renal stones
  4. kidney failure
  5. death. 
  6. increase the risk of heart attack

Yes Special Precautions & Warnings are important to consider before going on calcium supplementation”

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: oral recommended amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Children: recommended amount varies based on age as follows: 

Age 1-3 years, 700 mg daily; 4-8 years, 

1000 mg daily; 9-18 years, 1300 mg daily.


Low acid levels in the stomach (achlorhydria): Individuals already diagnosed with achlorhydria are advised to take calcium supplements with meals.

Under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism): Calcium in excess amount interferes with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. It is advisable to consume  separate calcium and thyroid medications by at least 4hoursgap

Poor kidney function: poor kidney function.

Smoking: nicotine levels lead to less absorption of calcium from the stomach.

Major Drug Interaction Of Calcium Supplementations

  1. Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) - intravenous ceftriaxone and calcium can result in life-threatening damage to the lungs and kidneys [within 48 hours of intravenous ceftriaxone do not  administered Calcium intravenously]
  2. Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) - decrease antibiotic absorption 
  3. Bisphosphonates - bisphosphate absorbs less if taken with calcium.
  4. Digoxin (Lanoxin)  is used to help your heart function if calcium along with digoxin (Lanoxin) is consumed this leads to and lead to an irregular heartbeat. 
  1. Diltiazem  - large amounts of calcium along with diltiazem might decrease the effectiveness of diltiazem 
  2. Thiazide diuretics- increase the amount of calcium in body and this could lead to serious side effects, like kidney problems.

Dosing (as per recommended allowance)

ADULTDOSAGE
ORAL ROUTE:

  • low calcium levels: 1-2 grams calcium daily 
  • heartburn: 0.5-1.5 grams of calcium carbonate 
  • For preventing weak bones -Divided daily doses of 0.5-1 gram of elemental calcium daily as per systemic comorbidties can be modified under supervision
  • For increasing fetal bone density in pregnant women -300-2000 mg/day- second and third trimesters.
  • For premenstrual syndrome (PMS): 1-1.3 grams per day calcium carbonate under supervision
  • For recurrent colorectal tumors: 2 grams daily as per medical condition of patient
  • For pre-eclampsia: 1-2 grams calcium carbonate.
  • For weight loss: Calcium 800-1200 mg daily with or without a calorie-restricted diet has 

INTRAVENOUS (BY IV):

  •  low calcium levels in the blood: 100-200 mg of calcium - bolus dose
  •  

CHILDDOSAGE

ORAL ROUTEFluoride poisoning: Calcium 125 mg twice daily with ascorbic acid and vitamin D