Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements May Be Too Much
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 11:47 AM

Calcium and vitamin D supplementation may cause hypercalciuria and hypercalcemia in some postmenopausal women, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

“Even a modest calcium supplementation of 500 mg/day may be too high for some women,” the authors note in a news release. They recommend measuring blood and urine calcium levels before beginning calcium and vitamin D supplementation and repeating the measurements within 3 months.

"[E]pisodes of hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria are common events with calcium and vitamin D supplementation; they are unrelated to vitamin D dose or serum 25(OH)D level," the authors conclude. "Whether they are caused by calcium alone or by the combination of calcium with vitamin D remains uncertain."

“I would recommend that women determine how much calcium they typically get through their food sources before taking a hefty calcium supplement. They may not need as much as they think,”

After women turn 40 years old, they lose 0.5% to 1% of bone per year, according to the National Institutes of Health. Calcium and vitamin D supplements are given to many postmenopausal women for the prevention of osteoporosis, the authors write. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D3 is 600 to 800 IU/day, and the recommended dietary allowance for calcium is 1200 mg/day.

Previous research has reported an increased risk for nephrolithiasis in women who take calcium and vitamin D supplements compared with placebo.