Researchers from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) found that supplementing with calcium elevates calcium levels too high, putting women at risk for kidney stones, among other health problems. Women close to menopause are commonly told to take supplements containing calcium and vitamin D to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, to which they are particularly prone.
"I would recommend that women determine how much calcium they typically get through their food sources before taking a hefty calcium supplement. They may not need as much as they think," says NAMS executive director, Margery Gass, MD.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, magnesium expert and advisory board member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association, explains: "When people consume too much calcium without sufficient magnesium, not only will it create stress within the body but the excess calcium will not be utilized correctly and may become toxic, because magnesium is essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and vitamin D. Too much calcium and too little magnesium can cause some forms of arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis and calcification of the arteries, leading to heart attack and cardiovascular disease," Dean said
Dr. Mehmet Oz adds, "Women with osteoporosis are often seriously short on magnesium, which makes up 1 percent of the minerals in bone. That may sound piddlin', but if you don't have enough magnesium, bone crystals enlarge, making your bones more brittle and prone to fractures."
A free 32-page guide to the benefits of magnesium, and its deficiency symptoms, is available here.