Should I Take Calcium for Osteoporosis?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Whether or not you should take calcium for osteoporosis depends on the amount of the mineral you are retaining in your body from dietary sources. If your doctor has determined that you have a calcium deficiency, then supplementation is highly recommended by health experts. Also, if you are among a high-risk group of individuals for developing bone loss or bone thinning problems, then you should take calcium for osteoporosis.

For adults, a recommended intake of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium is needed per day to maintain optimal bone health. Calcium is widely found in foods such as broccoli, cheese, almonds, collard greens, milk, soy milk, black beans, bok choy, figs, kale and kidney beans. Fruit juices, such as orange juice, are also sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Individuals who do not get enough of the mineral from dietary sources, however, may take calcium for osteoporosis prevention.

If you would like to take calcium for osteoporosis, but are prone to gastritis or constipation, taking calcium citrate or calcium in a chewy tablet may help, as may taking calcium carbonate between meals. It is always a good idea to consult with a health care professional before taking supplements, as some may offer unpleasant side effects. For instance, individuals who take calcium supplements may develop kidney stones, particularly if taking more than the recommended dosage.


If you are among those most at risk for bone health problems, it is a good idea to take calcium for osteoporosis. Those most at risk for this condition are white, post-menopausal women with small body frames who are not physically active and do not eat high calcium diets. Men and women also both experience bone loss or bone thinning due to aging. For men, loss begins at approximately 55 years old and women begin to experience bone thinning as they enter menopause. If you are approaching a stage where you will likely experience bone loss, your doctor may advise you to take calcium for osteoporosis as a precaution, particularly if you are not receiving enough of the mineral in your diet.

Health experts do not recommend individuals take calcium for osteoporosis if suffering from hypercalciuria. Also, individuals taking bisphosphonate or thyroid medications should not take calcium supplements in the morning before these other drugs are taken. While most experts agree that supplements are good for individuals who are not getting enough essential nutrients from food, you should ultimately make a decision to take calcium for osteoporosis only after speaking with your doctor, particularly if you have other unique health concerns.


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