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Researchers Caution Against Taking Too Much Calcium

June 1, 2010: 11:50 AM EST
The increased use of over-the-counter calcium and vitamin D supplements is causing a rise in a dangerous health problem known as milk-alkali or calcium-alkali syndrome, U.S. scientists report. The phenomenon was first detected more than a hundred years ago when people began drinking milk and taking antacids to treat ulcers. Increased levels of calcium in the blood raised blood pressure and often caused kidney failure. The problem declined when new ulcer medications were developed, but is now on the rise, thanks to greater use of calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent or treat osteoporosis. The researchers advise that the intake of calcium should be limited to 1.2 to 1.5 grams per day, a dosage that is both safe and beneficial.
Stanley Goldfarb, MD and Ami Patel, MD, "Got Calcium? Welcome to the Calcium-Alkali Syndrome", Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, June 01, 2010, © American Society of Nephrology
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