What's the deal with calcium supplements now contributing to heart attacks/strokes, how much is "too much"? I would think getting 1200 mg/calcium a day would be difficult through food sources only.
Also, how much is too much with Vit D. I probably take 1400mg/day of Vit D. I hear too much of this leads to kidney stones. Again, can you get ALL you need through foods/sun only with Vit D? I am postmenopausal, so my bone health is probably at some sort of risk, being in this range. Bone density showed nothing to be too concerned with at this point.
I agree that it is difficult to get in 1200 mg of calcium, especially if you are trying to lose weight, like me - it could add a lot of calories too.
I have osteoporosis, so it is important that I get enough though. I try to get in half of that (600mg) through a supplement, and half through my diet, mainly low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, leafy greens and fish like salmon and sardines.
I think the risks with calcium supplements are connected with a big dose, not a moderate intake, like up to 600mg.
As for vit. D, I've been taking at least 1000mg in supplements daily for a long time without any side effects or kidney stones. The daily recommended safe level is quite high. I think the kidney stone connection applies to those who are prone to get kidney stones, not for people without kidney problems.
A vit. D supplement is highly recommended, as it is difficult to get enough without supplements. Especially as we get older, when our bodies are not as efficient in making and absorbing it.
Here ( http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium/ ) is some great information from the National Institutes of Health on calcium and calcium supplements. Note that they address the study concerning calcium supplements and heart disease. In summary, it is too preliminary a result to draw conclusions or adjust your behavior. I don't think it is difficult to get adequate calcium from your diet if you are a milk drinker. Three 8 oz glasses of milk get you about 900 mg. However, if you are not a milk drinker, getting adequate calcium in your diet does require some thoughtful effort. The current recommended limit for calcium is 2500 mg/day. To clarify the vitamin D situation, you are not getting 1400 mg/day. That would require consuming something over 500 bottles of vitamin D supplements per day. The units on vitamin D are "IU." 1 IU is 25 nanograms, so 1000 IU is 25 micrograms. The current recommended amount of vitamin D is 600 IU/day for all adults under 70. The current recommended upper limit is 4000 IU/day. So, at 1400 IU/day you are nicely in that range. The Vitamin D Council ( http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ ) believes that a 4000 IU/day limit is too conservative. Keep in mind that 4000 IU is intended for the general population. If you are proven deficient, your doctor may recommend more vitamin D than that. You can get vitamin D from the sun provided the sun is intense enough and you have enough skin exposure without sun screen. The Vitamin D Council says that you may get up to 10,000 IU per day from the sun with sufficient exposure. People in the southern US may get enough from the sun most months. People in the northern states do not get enough most months. It is very difficult to get 600 IU per day from food alone. Milk is fortified to 100 IU, so three servings of milk could get you half way there. The only way to know whether you are getting the right amount of vitamin D is through a blood test called 25-OH vitamin D test. The National Institutes of Health have a very nice presentation on vitamin D here: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-QuickFacts/
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