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Too Much Calcium Could Cause Heart and Kidney Problems

New research is suggesting that, for many people, calcium supplements may do more harm than good.

While it is important to get enough calcium in our diets, vitamins and minerals are definitely an instance where you can have too much of a good thing. Dr. Ethel C. Siris explained: “Extra calcium does you no good, and there is a small risk that if you take too much you might get a kidney stone.”

Even more alarming, though, are new findings suggesting that calcium supplements may significantly increase heart attack risk.

Health officials recommend that adults under age 50 consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg for men over age 70 and post-menopausal women.

The takeaway? Determine how much calcium you’re getting from food sources (including fortified foods like soy milk, breakfast cereals, etc.). Then, if needed, make up the difference with supplements. If you’re unsure about your calcium intake or needs, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.

Perhaps surprising to some, milk and other dairy products are NOT the best source of calcium! Some great plant-based sources of calcium include leafy greens, tofu, tempeh, soy beans, chickpeas, tahini, broccoli, almonds, and calcium-fortified plant milks and juices.

Image Credit: Play | See | Feel | Live/Flickr