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Calcium is a popular dietary supplement used for keeping the bones and teeth healthy. There are several different types of this mineral; some work as an antacid, and some may lower blood pressure. Although there are many benefits of this supplement, it is also possible to develop side effects while taking it, such as constipation, kidney stones, and belching.
- Calcium carbonate works as an antacid by binding to hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
- It can bind to phosphate in the digestive system (preventing the phosphate from being absorbed), and it is sometimes used to help prevent or treat high phosphate levels in people with kidney disease.
- It might work to lower blood pressure by causing the kidneys to excrete more sodium through the urine. Sodium causes water retention, which can contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension).
- It might work for weight loss by inhibiting the formation of fatty tissue and increasing the breakdown of fatty tissue, possibly by decreasing levels of the hormone calcitriol.
- Women often experience a drop in calcium levels just before their menstrual periods. This might explain how the supplement may work for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.