Your Food and You: Calcium

Over 90% of your calcium is stored in your bones and is tightly regulated. This mineral is necessary to:

  • Build strong bones
  • Regulate your heart beat and reduce blood pressure
  • Help with muscle contraction
  • Support a healthy immune function
  • Blood clotting
  • Nerve signaling

Not getting enough?

Your body’s calcium balance is affected by the amount of sodium, caffeine, alcohol and protein you eat. The more of these you consume, the more calcium you excrete in your urine. Not having enough calcium in our diet can lead to:

  • Bone pain
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Muscle cramping, twitching and convulsions, and early onset muscle fatigue
  • Osteoporosis

Who should consider a supplement?

Meeting your daily requirements is easily done through your diet. If you cannot get enough calcium through your diet, you may need to take a calcium supplement. If you consume too much and excrete a minimal amount, you are at risk of calcium building up in your body. Research studies have shown that excess intake over time can increase the risk of heart attacks, especially in post-menopausal women.

People who may need a supplement include:

  • People who have osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • People who are unable to meet needs through diet

For optimal absorption, you will want to take your calcium supplement separately. For example, take one tablet in the morning and one in the evening. It is also important to note that calcium should be taken away from thyroid medication as it may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication. Calcium carbonates or calcium citrates are your best supplement options with the latter being easier to digest.


Not sure if you’re getting enough calcium? Ask one of our registered dietitians*! We can help you build the knowledge and skills to lead a happier and healthier life!

*Most benefit plans cover dietetic services. Check with your provider for coverage details.

November 26, 2015
Revive Wellness