Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones.

What are its health benefits?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and one of the most important. Calcium and magnesium are the “earth alkali” minerals found in the earth’s crust. Dolomite, a calcium-magnesium earth mineral combination that is usable by the body, is a common calcium supplement. Our bodies absorb calcium less effectively as we age, making us susceptible to osteoporosis.

Sufficient, regular intake of calcium makes for good bone density and decreases the risk of osteoporosis.

It’s also needed for:

  • Muscle contraction
  • Blood vessel contraction and expansion
  • The secretion of hormones and enzymes
  • The passage of messages through the nervous system

Do you have a deficiency?

A calcium deficiency would likely trigger health problems related to weak bones. Women are especially vulnerable to osteoporosis. Severe deficiency in children causes rickets.

Other deficiency symptoms can include:

A more acute lack can reportedly lead to more serious illnesses like heart disease, allergies and chronic arthritis.

Find it in these foods

Calcium supplements are an option if your diet falls short, but it’s best to take in the mineral through these calcium-rich foods:

  • Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and yoghurt
  • Almonds
  • Sardines
  • Sesame seeds
  • Canned salmon with bones
  • Dark-green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach
  • Soya beans
  • Tofu
  • Eggs (yolks specifically)

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

A typical calcium dose is 1000mg daily. However, consult with your Clicks pharmacist first regarding the right dosage of daily oral supplements to make up for a calcium deficiency.

The general guidelines for the recommended daily dosage, according to your age group, is:

  • Women aged 19-50: 1000 mg
  • Women aged 51 and older: 1200 mg 
  • Men aged 19-50: 1000 mg
  • Men aged 51-70: 2500 mg
  • Men aged 71 and older: 1200 mg

Know the overdose risks

It’s unlikely you would overdose from calcium from dietary sources but excessive supplements can have serious side effects. These include stomach pain and diarrhoea. Deposits will find their way into your soft tissues, such as your kidneys. You might also experience constipation

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

Shop online at Clicks.co.za for your vitamins

Looking for the most reliable and affordable calcium and magnesium supplements? Clicks.co.za is here to make stocking up on your supplements that much easier and convenient for you. Go here for calcium and magnesium.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in February 2015