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GNC Calcium Gummy - Fruit & Cream

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Description
  • 500 mg calcium essential for building strong teeth & bones*
  • With 1000 IU of vitamin D-3 to enhance calcium absorption*

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Supplement Facts

As a dietary supplement, chew two (2) gummies per day. Chew thoroughly before swallowing.

Serving Size 2 Gummies
Servings Per Container 30
Amount Per Serving % DV
Total Carbohydrate 7.00 g 2%
Calories 30.00
Calcium (as Tricalcium Phosphate) 500.00 mg 50%
Phosphorous (as Tricalcium Phosphate) 200.00 mg 20%
Vitamin D (as Cholecalciferol D-3) 1000.00 IU 250%
Sugars 6.00 g
** Daily Value (DV) not established

Other Ingredients: Sucrose, Glucose Syrup, Water, Gelatin

Gluten Free, No Eggs, No Milk, No Tree Nuts, No Soy.

Warning: This product uses high-quality, purified fish oil that has been tested for mercury and PCBs. This product may settle during shipping. Do not expose to excessive heat or moisture. Colors will darken over time. This does not alter the potency of the product.

Distributed by: General Nutrition Corporation Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Health Notes

Calcium

Calcium
This nutrient has been used in connection with the following health goals
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Gestational Hypertension
Dose: 1,200 to 1,500 mg daily
Supplementing with calcium may reduce the risk of gestational hypertension.(more)
Preeclampsia
Dose: 1,200 to 1,500 mg daily
An analysis of double-blind trials found calcium supplementation to be highly effective in preventing preeclampsia.(more)
Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Obtain a total of 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily, including both supplement and food sources
Calcium needs double during pregnancy. Supplementing with calcium may reduce the risk of preeclampsia and pre-term delivery and improve the bone strength of the fetuses.(more)
Breast-Feeding Support
Dose: 1,000 mg daily
Continuing to take prenatal vitamins will help ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs for breast-feeding. Especially important is continued calcium intake.(more)
Premenstrual Syndrome
Dose: 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily
Calcium appears to reduce the risk of mood swings, bloating, headaches, and other PMS symptoms.(more)
Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Obtain a total of 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily, including both supplement and food sources
Calcium needs double during pregnancy. Supplementing with calcium may reduce the risk of preeclampsia and pre-term delivery and improve the bone strength of the fetuses.(more)
Dysmenorrhea
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Muscles that are calcium-deficient tend to be hyperactive and therefore might be more likely to cramp. Calcium may help prevent menstrual cramps by maintaining normal muscle tone.(more)
Amenorrhea and Osteoporosis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Despite the lack of evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplements alone are helpful to amenorrheic women, they are still generally recommended to prevent the added burden of calcium and vitamin D deficiency from further contributing to bone loss.(more)
High Cholesterol
Dose: 800 to 1,000 mg daily
Some trials have shown that supplementing with calcium reduces cholesterol levels.(more)
High Triglycerides
Dose: 800 mg daily
Calcium supplementation has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels.(more)
Hypertension
Dose: 800 to 1,500 mg daily
Calcium supplementation has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.(more)
Lactose Intolerance
Dose: 500 to 1,200 mg daily depending on age and other calcium sources
As lactose-containing foods are among the best dietary sources of calcium, lactose-intolerant people may want to use calcium supplements as an alternative source.(more)
Celiac Disease
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner
The malabsorption that occurs in celiac disease can lead to multiple nutritional deficiencies. Supplementing with calcium may correct a deficiency.(more)
Premenstrual Syndrome
Dose: 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily
Calcium appears to reduce the risk of mood swings, bloating, headaches, and other PMS symptoms.(more)
Dysmenorrhea
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Muscles that are calcium-deficient tend to be hyperactive and therefore might be more likely to cramp. Calcium may help prevent menstrual cramps by maintaining normal muscle tone.(more)
Amenorrhea and Osteoporosis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Despite the lack of evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplements alone are helpful to amenorrheic women, they are still generally recommended to prevent the added burden of calcium and vitamin D deficiency from further contributing to bone loss.(more)
Osteoporosis
Dose: 800 to 1,500 mg daily depending on age and dietary calcium intake
Calcium supplements help prevent osteoporosis, especially for girls and premenopausal women. It is often recommended to help people already diagnosed with osteoporosis.(more)
Tension Headache
Dose: 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day (plus the same amount of calcium)
In preliminary research, people with chronic tension-type headaches who were also suffering from severe vitamin D deficiency experienced an improvement in their symptoms after supplementing with vitamin D and calcium. (more)
Migraine Headache
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Taking large amounts of the combination of calcium and vitamin D has been reported to produce a marked reduction in the incidence of migraines in several women.(more)
Obesity
Dose: 800 mg daily
In a study of obese people following a low-calorie diet, those receiving a calcium supplement lost significantly more weight than those given a placebo.(more)
Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Dose: Refer to label instructions
One study found that supplementing with calcium improved insulin sensitivity in people with hypertension.(more)
Gingivitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Some doctors recommend calcium to people with gum diseases. Calcium given to people with periodontal disease has been shown to reduce bleeding of the gums and loose teeth.(more)
Kidney Stones in People Who Are Not Hyperabsorbers of Calcium
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Calcium appears to interfere with the absorption of oxalate, which reduces the risk of stone formation.(more)
Gestational Hypertension
Dose: 1,200 to 1,500 mg daily

Calcium deficiency has been implicated as a possible cause of GH.1, 2 In two preliminary studies, women who developed GH were found to have significantly lower dietary calcium intake than did pregnant women with normal blood pressure.3, 4 Calcium supplementation has significantly reduced the incidence of GH in preliminary studies5 and in many,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 though not all,12 double-blind trials. Calcium supplements may be most effective in preventing GH in women who have low dietary intake of calcium. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends an intake of 1,200 to 1,500 mg of calcium daily during normal pregnancy.13 In women at risk of GH, studies showing reduced incidence have typically used 2,000 mg of supplemental calcium per day,14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 without any reported maternal or fetal side effects.20, 21 Nonetheless, many doctors continue to suggest amounts no higher than 1,500 mg per day.

References

1. Leela R, Yasodhara P, Ramaraju MBBS, Ramaraju LA. Calcium and magnesium in pregnancy. Nutr Res 1991;11:1231-6.

2. Prada JA, Ross R, Clark KE. Hypocalcemia and pregnancy-induced hypertension produced by maternal fasting. Hypertension 1992;20:620-6.

3. Marcous S, Brisson J, Fabia J. Calcium intake from dairy products and supplements and the risk of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. Am J Epidemiol 1991;133:1226-72.

4. Ortega RM, Martinez RM, Lopez-Sobaler AM, et al. Influence of calcium intake on gestational hypertension. Ann Nutr Metab 1999;43:37-46.

5. Bucher HC, Guyatt GH, Cook RJ, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA 1996;275:1113-7.

6. Bucher HC, Guyatt GH, Cook RJ, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA 1996;275:1113-7.

7. Lopez-Jaramillo P, Narvaez M, Weigle RM, Yepez R. Calcium supplementation reduces the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension in an Andes population. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1989;96:648-55.

8. Cong K, Chi S, Lui G. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for reducing pregnancy induced hypertension. Chin Med J 1995;108:57-9.

9. Purwar M, Kulkarni, H, Motghare V, Dhole S. Calcium supplementation and prevention of pregnancy induced hypertension. J Obstet Gynaecol Res 1996;22:425-30.

10. Belizan JM, Villar J, Gonzalez L. Calcium supplementation to prevent hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. N Engl J Med 1991;325:1399-405.

11. Sanchez-Ramos L, Briones DK, Kaunitz AM, et al. Prevention of pregnancy-induced hypertension by calcium supplementation in angiotensin II-sensitive patients. Obstet Gynecol 1994;84:349-53.

12. Levine RJ, Hauth JC, Curet LB, et al. Trial of calcium to prevent preeclampsia. N Engl J Med 1997;337:69-76.

13. NIH Consensus Development Panel on Optimal Calcium Intake. Optimal calcium intake. Nutrition 1995;11:409-17.

14. Moutquin JM, Garner PR, Burrows RF, et al. Report of the Canadian Hypertension Society Consensus Conference: 2. Nonpharmacologic management and prevention of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. CMAJ 1997;157:907-19.

15. Cong K, Chi S, Lui G. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for reducing pregnancy induced hypertension. Chin Men J 1995;108:57-9.

16. Bucher HC, Guyatt GH, Cook RJ, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA 1996;275:1113-7.

17. Lopez-Jaramillo P, Narvaez M, Weigle RM, Yepez R. Calcium supplementation reduces the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension in an Andes population. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1989;96:648-55.

18. Purwar M, Kulkarni, H, Motghare V, Dhole S. Calcium supplementation and prevention of pregnancy induced hypertension. J Obstet Gynaecol Res 1996;22:425-30.

19. Sanchez-Ramos L, Briones DK, Kaunitz AM, et al. Prevention of pregnancy-induced hypertension by calcium supplementation in angiotensin II-sensitive patients. Obstet Gynecol 1994;84:349-53.

20. Moutquin JM, Garner PR, Burrows RF, et al. Report of the Canadian Hypertension Society Consensus Conference: 2. Nonpharmacologic management and prevention of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. CMAJ 1997;157:907-19.

21. Cong K, Chi S, Lui G. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for reducing pregnancy induced hypertension. Chin Men J 1995;108:57-9.

Preeclampsia
Dose: 1,200 to 1,500 mg daily

Calcium deficiency has been associated with preeclampsia.1 In numerous controlled trials, oral calcium supplementation has been studied as a possible preventive measure.2345 While most trials have found a significant reduction in the incidence of preeclampsia with calcium supplementation,67891011 One study reported that calcium supplementation reduced both the severity of preeclampsia and the mortality rate in the infants.12

An analysis of double-blind trials46 found calcium supplementation to be highly effective in preventing preeclampsia. However, a large and well-designed double-blind trial and a critical analysis of six double-blind trials concluded that calcium supplementation did not reduce the risk of preeclampsia in healthy women at low risk for preeclampsia.13 For healthy, high-risk (in other words, calcium deficient) women, however, the data show a clear and statistically significant beneficial effect of calcium supplementation in reducing the risk of preeclampsia.1415161718192021222324252627

The National Institutes of Health recommends an intake of 1,200 to 1,500 mg of elemental calcium daily during normal pregnancy.28 In women at risk of preeclampsia, most trials showing reduced incidence have used 2,000 mg of supplemental calcium per day.29 Nonetheless, many doctors continue to suggest amounts no higher than 1,500 mg per day.

References

1. 33. Hojo M, August P. Calcium metabolism in normal and hypertensive pregnancy. Semin Nephrol 1995;15:504-11 [review].

2. Hojo M, August P. Calcium Metabolism in Preeclampsia: Supplementation may help. Medscape Womens Health 1997;2:5.

3. Moutquin JM, Garner PR, Burrows RF, et al. Report of the Canadian Hypertension Society Consensus Conference: 2. Nonpharmacologic management and prevention of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. CMAJ 1997;157:907-19.

4. Levine RJ, Hauth JC, Curet LB, et al. Trial of calcium to prevent preeclampsia. N Engl J Med 1997;337:69-76.

5. Belizan JM, Villar J, Gonzalez L. Calcium supplementation to prevent hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. N Engl J Med 1991;325:1399-405.

6. Hojo M, August P. Calcium Metabolism in Preeclampsia: Supplementation may help. Medscape Womens Health 1997;2:5.

7. Moutquin JM, Garner PR, Burrows RF, et al. Report of the Canadian Hypertension Society Consensus Conference: 2. Nonpharmacologic management and prevention of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. CMAJ 1997;157:907-19.

8. Crowther CA, Hiller JE, Pridmore B, et al. Calcium supplementation in nulliparous women for the prevention of pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and preterm birth: an Australian randomized trial. FRACOG and the ACT study group. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 1999;39:12-8.

9. Bucher HC, Guyatt GH, Cook RJ, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA 1996;275:1113-7.

10. Belizan JM, Villar J, Gonzalez L. Calcium supplementation to prevent hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. N Engl J Med 1991;325:1399-405.

11. Herrera JA, Arevalo-Herrera M, Herrera S. Prevention of preeclampsia by linoleic acid and calcium supplementation: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 1998;91:585-90.

12. Levine RJ, Hauth JC, Curet LB, et al. Trial of calcium to prevent preeclampsia. N Engl J Med 1997;337:69-76.

13. Villar J, Abdel-Aleem H, Merialdi M, et al. World Health Organization randomized trial of calcium supplementation among low calcium intake pregnant women. Am J Obstet Gyneco 2006;194:639-49.

14. Villar J, Abdel-Aleem H, Merialdi M, et al. World Health Organization randomized trial of calcium supplementation among low calcium intake pregnant women. Am J Obstet Gyneco 2006;194:639-49.

15. Bucher HC, Guyatt GH, Cook RJ, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA 1996;275:1113-7.

16. Levine RJ, Hauth JC, Curet LB, et al. Trial of calcium to prevent preeclampsia. N Engl J Med 1997;337:69-76.

17. Sibai BM. Prevention of preeclampsia: A big disappointment. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:1275-8 [review].

18. Levine RJ, Hauth JC, Curet LB, et al. Trial of calcium to prevent preeclampsia. N Engl J Med 1997;337:69-76.

19. Lopez-Jaramillo P, Narvaez M, Weigle RM, Yepez R. Calcium supplementation reduces the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension in an Andes population. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1989;96:648-55.

20. Lopez-Jaramillo P, Narvaez M, Felix C, Lopez A. Dietary calcium supplementation and prevention of pregnancy hypertension. Lancet 1990;335:293. [letter]

21. Villar J, Repke JT. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce preterm delivery in high-risk populations. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1990;163:1124-31.

22. Belizan JM, Villar J, Gonzalez L. Calcium supplementation to prevent hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. N Engl J Med 1991;325:1399-405.

23. Belizan JM, Villar J, Gonzalez L. Calcium supplementation to prevent hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. N Engl J Med 1991;325:1399-405.

24. Sanchez-Ramos L, Briones DK, Kaunitz AM, et al. Prevention of pregnancy-induced hypertension by calcium supplementation in angiotensin II-sensitive patients. Obstet Gynecol 1994;84:349-53.

25. DerSimonian R, Levine RJ. Resolving discrepancies between a meta-analysis and a subsequent large controlled trial. JAMA 1999;282:664-70 [review].

26. Ritchie LD, King JC. Dietary calcium and pregnancy-induced hypertension: is there a relation? Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5 Suppl):1371S-4S [review].

27. Villar J, Belizan JM. Same nutrient, different hypotheses: disparities in trials of calcium supplementation during pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5 Suppl):1375-9S [review].

28. Consensus Development Conference Panel. Optimal calcium intake: Consensus Development Conference statement. JAMA 1994;272:1942-8.

29. Moutquin JM, Garner PR, Burrows RF, et al. Report of the Canadian Hypertension Society Consensus Conference: 2. Nonpharmacologic management and prevention of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. CMAJ 1997;157:907-19.

Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Obtain a total of 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily, including both supplement and food sources

Calcium needs double during pregnancy.1 Low dietary intake of this mineral is associated with increased risk of preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous (but preventable) condition characterized by high blood pressure and swelling. Supplementation with calcium may reduce the risk of pre-term delivery, which is often associated with preeclampsia. Calcium may reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension,2 though these effects are more likely to occur in women who are calcium deficient.3, 4 Supplementation with up to 2 grams of calcium per day by pregnant women with low dietary calcium intake has been shown to improve the bone strength of the fetuses.5

Pregnant women should consume 1,500 mg of calcium per day from all sources-food plus supplements. Food sources of calcium include dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, tofu, sardines (canned with edible bones), salmon (canned with edible bones), peas, and beans.

References

1. Truswell AS. ABC of nutrition. Nutrition for pregnancy. Br Med J 1985;291:263-6.

2. Villar J, Repke JT. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce preterm delivery in high-risk populations. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1990;163:1124-31.

3. Ritchie LD, King JC. Dietary calcium and pregnancy-induced hypertension: is there a relation? Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5 Suppl):1371S-4S [review].

4. Villar J, Belizan JM. Same nutrient, different hypotheses: disparities in trials of calcium supplementation during pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5 Suppl):1375-9S [review].

5. Koo WWK, Walters JC, Esterlitz J, et al. Maternal calcium supplementation and fetal bone mineralization. Obstet Gynecol 1999;94:577-82.

Breast-Feeding Support
Dose: 1,000 mg daily

A woman should continue to take prenatal vitamins in order to meet the nutrient requirements of breast-feeding. Especially important is continued intake of calcium and calcium-rich foods.

Premenstrual Syndrome
Dose: 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily

Women who consume more calcium from their diets are less likely to suffer severe PMS.1 A large double-blind trial found that women who took 1,200 mg per day of calcium for three menstrual cycles had a 48% reduction in PMS symptoms, compared to a 30% reduction in the placebo group.2 Other double-blind trials have shown that supplementing 1,000 mg of calcium per day relieves premenstrual symptoms.3, 4

References

1. Rossignol AM, Bonnlander H. Premenstrual symptoms and beverage consumption. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993;168:1640 [letter].

2. Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, et al. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: Effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:444-52.

3. Thys-Jacobs S, Ceccarelli S, Bierman A, et al. Calcium supplementation in premenstrual syndrome. J Gen Intern Med 1989;4:183-9.

4. Penland J, Johnson P. Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993;168:1417-23.

Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Obtain a total of 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily, including both supplement and food sources

Calcium needs double during pregnancy.1 Low dietary intake of this mineral is associated with increased risk of preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous (but preventable) condition characterized by high blood pressure and swelling. Supplementation with calcium may reduce the risk of pre-term delivery, which is often associated with preeclampsia. Calcium may reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension,2 though these effects are more likely to occur in women who are calcium deficient.3, 4 Supplementation with up to 2 grams of calcium per day by pregnant women with low dietary calcium intake has been shown to improve the bone strength of the fetuses.5

Pregnant women should consume 1,500 mg of calcium per day from all sources-food plus supplements. Food sources of calcium include dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, tofu, sardines (canned with edible bones), salmon (canned with edible bones), peas, and beans.

References

1. Truswell AS. ABC of nutrition. Nutrition for pregnancy. Br Med J 1985;291:263-6.

2. Villar J, Repke JT. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce preterm delivery in high-risk populations. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1990;163:1124-31.

3. Ritchie LD, King JC. Dietary calcium and pregnancy-induced hypertension: is there a relation? Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5 Suppl):1371S-4S [review].

4. Villar J, Belizan JM. Same nutrient, different hypotheses: disparities in trials of calcium supplementation during pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5 Suppl):1375-9S [review].

5. Koo WWK, Walters JC, Esterlitz J, et al. Maternal calcium supplementation and fetal bone mineralization. Obstet Gynecol 1999;94:577-82.

Dysmenorrhea
Dose: Refer to label instructions

In theory, calcium may help prevent menstrual cramps by maintaining normal muscle tone. Muscles that are calcium-deficient tend to be hyperactive and therefore might be more likely to cramp. Calcium supplementation was reported to reduce pain during menses in one double-blind trial,1 though another such study found that it relieved only premenstrual cramping, not pain during menses.2 Some doctors recommend calcium supplementation for dysmenorrhea, suggesting 1,000 mg per day throughout the month and 250-500 mg every four hours for pain relief, during acute cramping (up to a maximum of 2,000 mg per day).

References

1. Penland J, Johnson P. Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993;168:1417-23.

2. Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, et al. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: Effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:444-52.

Amenorrhea and Osteoporosis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

A preliminary trial showed that bone loss occurred over a one-year period in amenorrheic exercising women despite daily supplementation with 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D.1 In a controlled study of amenorrheic nursing women, who ordinarily experience brief bone loss that reverses when menstruation returns, bone loss was not prevented by a multivitamin supplement providing 400 IU of vitamin D along with 500 mg twice daily of calcium or placebo.2 Despite the lack of evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplements alone are helpful to amenorrheic women, they are still generally recommended to prevent the added burden of calcium and vitamin D deficiency from further contributing to bone loss.3 Amounts typically recommended are 1,200 to 1,500 mg calcium and 400 to 800 IU vitamin D daily.

References

1. Baer JT, Taper LJ, Gwazdauskas FG, et al. Diet, hormonal, and metabolic factors affecting bone mineral density in adolescent amenorrheic and eumenorrheic female runners. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1992;32:51-8.

2. Kalkwarf HJ, Specker BL, Ho M. Effects of calcium supplementation on calcium homeostasis and bone turnover in lactating women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999;84:464-70.

3. Fagan KM. Pharmacologic management of athletic amenorrhea. Clin Sports Med 1998;17:327-41 [review].

High Cholesterol
Dose: 800 to 1,000 mg daily

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

Some preliminary1 and double-blind2, 3 trials have shown that supplemental calcium reduces cholesterol levels. Possibly the calcium is binding with and preventing the absorption of dietary fat.4 However, other research has found no substantial or statistically significant effects of calcium supplementation on total cholesterol or HDL ("good") cholesterol.5 Reasonable supplemental levels are 800 to 1,000 mg per day.

References

1. Yacowitz H, Fleischman AI, Bierenbaum ML. Effects of oral calcium upon serum lipids in man. Br Med J 1965;1:1352-4.

2. Bell L, Halstenson CE, Halstenson CJ, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effects of calcium carbonate in patients with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. Arch Intern Med 1992;152:2441-4.

3. Karanja N, Morris CD, Illingworth DR, Plasma lipids and hypertension: response to calcium supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr 1987;45:60-5.

4. Denke MA, Fox MM, Schulte MC. Short-term dietary calcium fortification increases fecal saturated fat content and reduces serum lipids in men. J Nutr 1993;123:1047-53.

5. Bostick RM, Fosdick L, Grandits GA, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on serum cholesterol and blood pressure. Arch Fam Med 2000;9:31-9.

High Triglycerides
Dose: 800 mg daily

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

In a preliminary trial, supplementation with 800 mg of calcium per day for one year resulted in a statistically significant 35% reduction in the average TG level among people with elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.1 However, in another trial, calcium supplementation had no effect on TG levels.2 One of the differences between these two trials was that more people in the former trial had initially elevated TG levels.

References

1. Bierenbaum ML, Fleischman AI, Raichelson RI. Long term human studies on the lipid effects of oral calcium. Lipids 1972;7:202-6.

2. Carlson LA, Olsson AG, Oro L, Rossner S. Effects of oral calcium upon serum cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with hyperlipidemia. Atherosclerosis 1971;14:391-400.

Hypertension
Dose: 800 to 1,500 mg daily

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

Calcium supplementation-typically 800-1,500 mg per day-may lower blood pressure. However, while an analysis of 42 trials reported that calcium supplementation led to an average drop in blood pressure that was statistically significant, the actual decrease was small (in medical terms, a drop of 1.4 systolic over 0.8 diastolic pressure).1 Results might have been improved had the analysis been limited to studies of people with hypertension, since calcium has almost no effect on the blood pressure of healthy people. In the analysis of 42 trials, effects were seen both with dietary calcium and with use of calcium supplements. A 12-week trial of 1,000 mg per day of calcium accompanied by blood pressure monitoring is a reasonable way to assess efficacy in a given person.

References

1. Griffith LE, Guyatt GH, Cook RJ, et al. The influence of dietary and nondietary calcium supplementation on blood pressure. An updated metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Hypertens 1999;12:84-92.

Lactose Intolerance
Dose: 500 to 1,200 mg daily depending on age and other calcium sources

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

Researchers have yet to clearly determine whether lactose-intolerant people absorb less calcium.1 As lactose-containing foods are among the best dietary sources of calcium, alternative sources of calcium (from beverages, foods, or supplements) are important for lactose-intolerant people. A typical amount of supplemental calcium is 1,000 mg per day.

References

1. Wheadon M, Goulding A, Barbezat GO, et al. Lactose malabsorption and calcium intake as risk factors for osteoporosis in elderly New Zealand women. NZ Med J 1991;104:417-9.

Celiac Disease
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

The malabsorption that occurs in celiac disease can lead to multiple nutritional deficiencies. The most common nutritional problems in people with celiac disease include deficiencies of essential fatty acids, iron, vitamin D, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid.1Zinc malabsorption also occurs frequently in celiac disease2 and may result in zinc deficiency, even in people who are otherwise in remission.3 People with newly diagnosed celiac disease should be assessed for nutritional deficiencies by a doctor. Celiac patients who have not yet completely recovered should supplement with a high-potency multivitamin-mineral. Some patients may require even higher amounts of some of these vitamins and minerals-an issue that should be discussed with their healthcare practitioner. Evidence of a nutrient deficiency in a celiac patient is a clear indication for supplementation with that nutrient.

After commencement of a gluten-free diet, overall nutritional status gradually improves. However, deficiencies of some nutrients may persist, even in people who are strictly avoiding gluten. For example, magnesium deficiency was found in 8 of 23 adults with celiac disease who had been following a gluten-free diet and were symptom-free. When these adults were supplemented with magnesium for two years, their bone mineral density increased significantly.4

References

1. Connon JJ. Celiac disease. In: Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1994, 1062.

2. Crofton RW, Glover SC, Ewen SWB, et al. Zinc absorption in celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis: a test of small intestinal function. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:706-12.

3. Solomons NW, Rosenberg IH, Sandstead HH. Zinc nutrition in celiac sprue. Am J Clin Nutr 1976;29:371-5.

4. Rude RK, Olerich M. Magnesium deficiency: possible role in osteoporosis associated with gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Osteoporos Int 1996;6:453-61.

Premenstrual Syndrome
Dose: 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily

Women who consume more calcium from their diets are less likely to suffer severe PMS.1 A large double-blind trial found that women who took 1,200 mg per day of calcium for three menstrual cycles had a 48% reduction in PMS symptoms, compared to a 30% reduction in the placebo group.2 Other double-blind trials have shown that supplementing 1,000 mg of calcium per day relieves premenstrual symptoms.3, 4

References

1. Rossignol AM, Bonnlander H. Premenstrual symptoms and beverage consumption. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993;168:1640 [letter].

2. Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, et al. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: Effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:444-52.

3. Thys-Jacobs S, Ceccarelli S, Bierman A, et al. Calcium supplementation in premenstrual syndrome. J Gen Intern Med 1989;4:183-9.

4. Penland J, Johnson P. Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993;168:1417-23.

Dysmenorrhea
Dose: Refer to label instructions

In theory, calcium may help prevent menstrual cramps by maintaining normal muscle tone. Muscles that are calcium-deficient tend to be hyperactive and therefore might be more likely to cramp. Calcium supplementation was reported to reduce pain during menses in one double-blind trial,1 though another such study found that it relieved only premenstrual cramping, not pain during menses.2 Some doctors recommend calcium supplementation for dysmenorrhea, suggesting 1,000 mg per day throughout the month and 250-500 mg every four hours for pain relief, during acute cramping (up to a maximum of 2,000 mg per day).

References

1. Penland J, Johnson P. Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993;168:1417-23.

2. Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, et al. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: Effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:444-52.

Amenorrhea and Osteoporosis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

A preliminary trial showed that bone loss occurred over a one-year period in amenorrheic exercising women despite daily supplementation with 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D.1 In a controlled study of amenorrheic nursing women, who ordinarily experience brief bone loss that reverses when menstruation returns, bone loss was not prevented by a multivitamin supplement providing 400 IU of vitamin D along with 500 mg twice daily of calcium or placebo.2 Despite the lack of evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplements alone are helpful to amenorrheic women, they are still generally recommended to prevent the added burden of calcium and vitamin D deficiency from further contributing to bone loss.3 Amounts typically recommended are 1,200 to 1,500 mg calcium and 400 to 800 IU vitamin D daily.

References

1. Baer JT, Taper LJ, Gwazdauskas FG, et al. Diet, hormonal, and metabolic factors affecting bone mineral density in adolescent amenorrheic and eumenorrheic female runners. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1992;32:51-8.

2. Kalkwarf HJ, Specker BL, Ho M. Effects of calcium supplementation on calcium homeostasis and bone turnover in lactating women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999;84:464-70.

3. Fagan KM. Pharmacologic management of athletic amenorrhea. Clin Sports Med 1998;17:327-41 [review].

Osteoporosis
Dose: 800 to 1,500 mg daily depending on age and dietary calcium intake

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

Although insufficient when used as the only intervention, calcium supplements help prevent osteoporosis.1 Though some of the research remains controversial, the protective effect of calcium on bone mass is one of very few health claims permitted on supplement labels by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In some studies, higher calcium intake has not correlated with a reduced risk of osteoporosis-for example, in women shortly after becoming menopausal2 or in men.3 However, after about three years of menopause, calcium supplementation does appear to take on a protective effect for women.4 Even the most positive trials using isolated calcium supplementation show only minor effects on bone mass. Nonetheless, a review of the research shows that calcium supplementation plus hormone replacement therapy is much more effective than hormone replacement therapy without calcium.5 Double-blind research has found that increasing calcium intake results in greater bone mass in girls.6 An analysis of many trials investigating the effects of calcium supplementation in premenopausal women has also shown a significant positive effect.7 Most doctors recommend calcium supplementation as a way to partially reduce the risk of osteoporosis and to help people already diagnosed with the condition. In order to achieve the 1,500 mg per day calcium intake many researchers deem optimal, 800 to 1,000 mg of supplemental calcium are generally added to the 500 to 700 mg readily obtainable from the diet.

While phosphorus is essential for bone formation, most people do not require phosphorus supplementation, because the typical western diet provides ample or even excessive amounts of phosphorus. One study, however, has shown that taking calcium can interfere with the absorption of phosphorus, potentially leading to phosphorus deficiency in elderly people, whose diets may contain less phosphorus.8. The authors of this study recommend that, for elderly people, at least some of the supplemental calcium be taken in the form of tricalcium phosphate or some other phosphorus-containing preparation.

One trial studying postmenopausal women combined hormone replacement therapy with magnesium (600 mg per day), calcium (500 mg per day), vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, and other nutrients for an eight- to nine-month period.9 In addition, participants were told to avoid processed foods, limit protein intake, emphasize vegetable over animal protein, and limit consumption of salt, sugar, alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, and tobacco. Bone density increased a remarkable 11%, compared to only 0.7% in women receiving hormone replacement alone.

References

1. Reid IR, Ames RW, Evans MC, et al. Long-term effects of calcium supplementation on bone loss and fractures in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Med 1995;98:331-5.

2. Hosking DJ, Ross PD, Thompson DE, et al. Evidence that increased calcium intake does not prevent early postmenopausal bone loss. Clin Ther 1998;20:933-44.

3. Owusu W, Willett WC, Feskanich D, et al. Calcium intake and the incidence of forearm and hip fractures among men. J Nutr 1997;127:1782-7.

4. Rulm LA, Sakhaee K, Peterson R, et al. The effect of calcium citrate on bone density in the early and mid-postmenopausal period: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Ther 1999;6:303-11.

5. Nieves JW, Komar L, Cosman F, Lindsay R. Calcium potentiates the effect of estrogen and calcitonin on bone mass: review and analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67:18-24.

6. Bonjour JP, Carrie AL, Ferrari S, et al. Calcium-enriched foods and bone mass growth in prepubertal girls: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Invest 1997;99:1287-94.

7. Welten DC, Kemper HCG, Post GB, van Stavberen WA. A meta-analysis of the effect of calcium intake on bone mass in young and middle aged females and males. J Nutr 1995;125:2802-13 [review].

8. Heaney RP, Nordin BEC. Calcium effects on phosphorus absorption: implications for the prevention and co-therapy of osteoporosis.J Am Coll Nutr 2002;21:239-44.

9. Abraham GE, Grewal H. A total dietary program emphasizing magnesium instead of calcium. J Reprod Med 1990;35:503-7.

Tension Headache
Dose: 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day (plus the same amount of calcium) In a preliminary trial, eight patients had chronic tension-type headache in association with severe vitamin D deficiency. In each case, the headaches resolved after treatment with vitamin D3 (1,000 to 1,500 IU per day) and calcium (1,000 to 1,500 mg per day).1
References

1. Prakash S, Shah ND. Chronic tension-type headache with vitamin D deficiency: casual or causal association? Headache 2009;49:1214-22.

Migraine Headache
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

Taking large amounts of the combination of calcium (1,000 to 2,000 mg per day) and vitamin D has been reported to produce a marked reduction in the incidence of migraines in several women.1, 2 However, the amount of vitamin D given to these women (usually 50,000 IU once a week), can cause adverse reactions, particularly when used in combination with calcium. This amount of vitamin D should be used only under medical supervision. Doctors often recommend that people take 800 to 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D per day. However, it is not known whether theses amounts would have an effect on migraines.

References

1. Thys-Jacobs S. Vitamin D and calcium in menstrual migraine. Headache 1994;34:544-6.

2. Thys-Jacobs S. Alleviation of migraines with therapeutic vitamin D and calcium. Headache 1994;34:590-2.

Obesity
Dose: 800 mg daily

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

In a study of obese people consuming a low-calorie diet for 24 weeks, those receiving a calcium supplement (800 mg per day) lost significantly more weight than those given a placebo.1 Calcium was effective when provided either as a supplement, or in the form of dairy products. In a second study, however, the amount of weight loss resulting from calcium supplementation (1,000 mg per day) was small and not statistically significant.2 In that study, participants' typical diet contained more calcium than in the study in which calcium supplementation was more effective. Thus, it is possible that calcium supplementation enhances weight loss only when the diet is low in calcium.

References

1. Zemel MB, Thompson W, Milstead A, et al. Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults. Obes Res 2004;12:582-90.

2. Shapses SA, Heshka S, Heymsfield SB. Effect of calcium supplementation on weight and fat loss in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89:632-7.

Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

One double blind trial found that 1,500 mg per day of calcium improved insulin sensitivity in people with hypertension.1 No research on the effects of calcium in people with IRS has been done.

References

1. Sanchez M, de la Sierra A, Coca A, Oral calcium supplementation reduces intraplatelet free calcium concentration and insulin resistance in essential hypertensive patients. Hypertension 1997;29:531-6.

Gingivitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

Some,1 but not all,2 research has found that giving 500 mg of calcium twice per day for six months to people with periodontal disease results in a reduction of symptoms (bleeding gums and loose teeth). Although some doctors recommend calcium supplementation to people with diseases of the gums, supportive scientific evidence remains weak.

References

1. Krook L, Lutwak L, Whalen JP, et al. Human periodontal disease. Morphology and response calcium therapy. Cornell Vet 1972;62:32-53.

2. Uhrbom E, Jacobson L. Calcium and periodontitis: a clinical effect of calcium medication. J Clin Periodontol 1984;11:230-41.

Kidney Stones in People Who Are Not Hyperabsorbers of Calcium
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Caution: Calcium supplements should be avoided by prostate cancer patients.

In the past, doctors have sometimes recommended that people with a history of kidney stones restrict calcium intake because a higher calcium intake increases the amount of calcium in urine. However, calcium (from supplements or food) binds to oxalate in the gut before either can be absorbed, thus interfering with the absorption of oxalate. When oxalate is not absorbed, it cannot be excreted in urine. The resulting decrease in urinary oxalate actually reduces the risk of stone formation,1 and the reduction in urinary oxalate appears to outweigh the increase in urinary calcium.2 In clinical studies, people who consumed more calcium in the diet were reported to have a lower risk of forming kidney stones than people who consume less calcium.3, 4, 5

However, while dietary calcium has been linked to reduction in the risk of forming stones, calcium supplements have been associated with an increased risk in a large study of American nurses.6 The researchers who conducted this trial speculate that the difference in effects between dietary and supplemental calcium resulted from differences in timing of calcium consumption. Dietary calcium is eaten with food, and so it can then block absorption of oxalates that may be present at the same meal. In the study of American nurses, however, most supplemental calcium was consumed apart from food.7 Calcium taken without food will increase urinary calcium, thus increasing the risk of forming stones; but calcium taken without food cannot reduce the absorption of oxalate from food consumed at a different time. For this reason, these researchers speculate that calcium supplements were linked to increased risk because they were taken between meals. Thus, calcium supplements may be beneficial for many stone formers, as dietary calcium appears to be, but only if taken with meals.

When doctors recommend calcium supplements to stone formers, they often suggest 800 mg per day in the form of calcium citrate or calcium citrate malate, taken with meals. Citrate helps reduce the risk of forming a stone (see "Dietary changes that may be helpful" above).8 Calcium citrate has been shown to increase urinary citrate in stone formers, which may act as protection against an increase in urinary calcium resulting from absorption of calcium from the supplement.9

Despite the fact that calcium supplementation taken with meals may be helpful for some, people with a history of kidney stone formation should not take calcium supplements without the supervision of a healthcare professional. Although the increase in urinary calcium caused by calcium supplements can be mild or even temporary,10 some stone formers show a potentially dangerous increase in urinary calcium following calcium supplementation; this may, in turn, increase the risk of stone formation.11 People who are "hyperabsorbers" of calcium should not take supplemental calcium until more is known. Using a protocol established years ago in the Journal of Urology, 24-hour urinary calcium studies conducted both with and without calcium supplementation determine which stone formers are calcium "hyperabsorbers."12 Any healthcare practitioner can order this simple test.

References

1. Marshall RW, Cochran M, Hodgkinson A. Relationship between calcium and oxalic acid intake in the diet and their excretion in the urine of normal and renal-stone forming subjects. Clin Sci 1972;43:91-9.

2. Lemann J Jr. Composition of the diet and calcium kidney stones. N Engl J Med 1993;328:880-2 [editorial].

3. Curhan GC, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ. A prospective study of dietary calcium and other nutrients and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones. N Engl J Med 1993;328:833-8.

4. Hassapidou MN, Paraskevopoulos S Th, Karakoltsidis PA, et al. Dietary habits of patients with renal stone disease in Greece. J Human Nutr Dietet 1999;12:47-51.

5. Sowers MFR, Hannausch M, Wood C, et al. Prevalence of renal stones in a population-based study with dietary calcium, oxalate, and medication exposures. Am J Epidemiol 1998;147:914-20.

6. Curhan GC, Willett WC, Speizer FE, et al. Comparison of dietary calcium with supplemental calcium and other nutrients as factors affecting the risk for kidney stones in women. Ann Intern Med 1997;126:497-504.

7. Curhan GC, Willett WC, Speizer FE, Stampfer MJ. A prospective study of dietary and supplemental calcium and the risk of kidney stones in women. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143(11Suppl):S15 [abstr #57].

8. Pak CY. Nephrolithiasis from calcium supplementation. J Urol 1987;137:1212-3 [editorial].

9. Levine BS, Rodman JS, Wienerman S, et al. Effect of calcium citrate supplementation on urinary calcium oxalate saturation in female stone formers: implications for prevention of osteoporosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;60:592-6.

10. Pak CY, Sakhaee K, Hwang TIS, et al. Nephrolithiasis from calcium supplementation. J Urol 1987;137:1212-3 [editorial/review].

11. Bataille IP, Charransol G, Gregoire I, et al. Effect of calcium restriction on renal excretion of oxalate and the probability of stones in the various pathophsiological groups with calcium stones. J Urol 1983;130:218-23.

12. Bataille IP, Charransol G, Gregoire I, et al. Effect of calcium restriction on renal excretion of oxalate and the probability of stones in the various pathophsiological groups with calcium stones. J Urol 1983;130:218-23.

Calcium is the most abundant, essential mineral in the human body. Of the two to three pounds of calcium contained in the average body, 99% is located in the bones and teeth. Calcium is needed to form bones and teeth and is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells, and muscle contraction. The importance of calcium for preventing osteoporosis is probably its most well-known role.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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