Calcium Dosage

Calcium Dosing for Specific Uses

For treating specific conditions (such as a calcium deficiency), other doses may be recommended, although for most uses, the recommended dose is similar to the standard Adequate Intake dose. You should not exceed the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (2500 mg daily) for any use, unless your healthcare provider specifically recommends that you do so.
 

Types of Calcium

There are several different types of calcium, and calcium dosing can sometimes be a little confusing. The dosing recommendations (Adequate Intakes and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels) are provided in terms of elemental calcium. However, calcium does not come as just elemental calcium; it comes in forms such as calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium citrate, or calcium gluconate. The extra part of the compound contributes to the weight of the product but not to the calcium content. For instance, each 1000 mg of calcium carbonate contains only 400 mg of calcium; each 1000 mg of calcium citrate contains only 211 mg of calcium.
 
Most calcium products intended for calcium supplementation clearly list the dose in terms of elemental calcium, to help you avoid any confusion. However, products intended for use as an antacid list the calcium content in terms of both calcium carbonate and elemental calcium. A careful inspection of the label of such products will help you understand exactly how much you need to take.
 

General Information on Dosing With Calcium

Some considerations for people taking calcium include:
 
  • The body can only absorb a certain amount of calcium at a time; any extra is simply wasted. Therefore, it is pointless to take more than 500 or 600 mg of calcium at a time. To get an adequate dose, you may have to take calcium several times a day.
     
  • Calcium is best absorbed when taken with a meal. This is especially important for people with low stomach acid, such as elderly individuals or people taking acid-reducing medications.
     
  • Never exceed the amount recommended on the supplement label unless your healthcare provider specifically recommends that you do so.
     
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or calcium dosing in general, please talk with your healthcare provider.
     
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Calcium Supplement Information

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