The question whether calcium supplements are good or bad for you, and how much you should take, is very controversial. That is because it is the wrong question. The answer is “it depends”. We spent an hour at ASBMR going over many studies and analyses.
Total calcium intake is what matters. That means that how much calcium supplement you need today depends on how much calcium is in your diet. Unless you eat the same thing every day (boring!), your need for calcium supplement at each meal will vary. And it is more tricky than that.
Calcium in Foods is best. Calcium supplements taken with food are also good. Calcium supplements taken without any food may be a problem for some people. Some studies have suggested that calcium taken without food can be deposited in your heart and arteries. But no studies have shown that calcium taken with a meal is harmful.
Less than 1000mg calcium daily is too little. More than 2000mg calcium daily is too much. 1200mg calcium daily (or 1500 mg when correcting a long tern deficit) is just right. That is unless you have absorption issues, colitis, gluten or lactose sensitivities and need more. Remember that you can only absorb 500-600mg in a single meal.
Take Control Naturally. Like Goldilocks make your Total Calcium “just right”.
Jay Ginther, MD