Calcium is an important mineral that is useful for the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth. Calcium can be obtained from several types of food, such as milk and processed products, green vegetables, sardines, and salmon.
In addition to maintaining healthy bones and teeth, calcium is also needed to support the work of the nervous system, blood clotting, and muscle contractions. Lack of calcium in the body can cause children's growth to be stunted and trigger various diseases, such as rickets , osteoporosis, and osteomalacia .
Calcium supplements can be given if calcium intake from food is lacking or if the body's need for calcium increases. Supplements containing calcium carbonate had the highest levels of calcium, followed by calcium citrate, calcium gluconate , and calcium lactate.
Calcium supplement trademarks : Blackmores Calcimag Multi, Calcium Citrate, Calcium Lactate, CDR, Femmy Estrocal , Nature's Health Nano Calcium, Osfit, Osteocare, Ostobon, Protecal Osteo, Sea-Quill Megavite, Wellness Os-Cal, Zevit Grow.
What Is Calcium
|Benefit||Prevent and treat calcium deficiency|
|Consumed by||Adults and children|
|Calcium for pregnant and lactating women||Category C: Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women. The drug should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus. Calcium is known to be absorbed into breast milk. For mothers who are breastfeeding, follow the instructions for use and dosage given by the doctor when taking calcium.|
|Drug form||Tablets, capsules and syrup|
Warning Before Using Calcium
There are several things that you should pay attention to before consuming calcium, namely:
- Do not take calcium supplements if you have an allergy to calcium or any of the ingredients in calcium supplement products.
- Tell your doctor if you have or currently have kidney disease, kidney stones, prostate cancer , heart disease, sarcoidosis , hypercalcemia, or hypercalciuria.
- Tell your doctor before using calcium supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, including supplements and herbal products, in case of drug interactions.
- Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or overdose after using calcium.
Dosage and Rules for Use of Calcium
The following are general dosages for calcium use based on their intended use:
Purpose: Overcome calcium deficiency
- Adult: As calcium carbonate, the dose is 500–4,000 mg daily, divided into 1–3 doses. As calcium gluconate, 1,000–3,000 mg per day. As calcium lactate, 325–650 mg, 2–3 times daily.
- Children: As calcium carbonate, the dose is 750 mg, 2–3 times daily. As calcium gluconate, 500–725 mg/kg every 6–8 hours. As calcium lactate, 500 mg/kg every 6–8
Purpose: Prevent calcium deficiency
- Adult: As calcium citrate and calcium gluconate, the dose is 1,000 mg per day, divided into 2 doses.
- Children: As calcium gluconate, the dose is 800 mg every 8–12 hours.
- Teenagers: As calcium gluconate, the dose is 1,300 mg every 8–12 hours.
Purpose: Overcoming osteoporosis
- Adult: As calcium lactate, the dose is 325–650 mg, 3 times daily.
Purpose: Prevent osteoporosis
- Adult: As calcium citrate, 1000–1500 mg daily, in divided doses. As calcium gluconate, 1,200 mg per day, divided into 2–3 meals.
Purpose: Overcome osteomalacia
- Adult: As calcium lactate, the dose is 325–650 mg, 2–3 times daily.
Purpose: Overcome hypoparathyroidism
- Adult: As calcium lactate, the dose is 325 mg, 3 times daily.
Purpose: Overcome pseudohypoparathyroidism
- Adult: As calcium lactate, the dose is 325 mg once daily.
Purpose: To reduce phosphate levels in patients with chronic renal failure
- Adult: As calcium carbonate, the dosage is 3,000–7,000 mg daily. The dose is divided and adjusted according to the patient's phosphate level.
Normal Daily Needs of Calcium
Calcium needs can be met through food, supplements, or a combination of the two. The recommended nutritional adequacy rate (RDA) varies, depending on age, sex, and health condition.
Here is the daily RDA for calcium:
|7–12 months||260 mg||260 mg|
|4–8 years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|9–13 years||1300 mg||1300 mg|
|14–18 years||1300 mg||1300 mg|
|19–50 years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|51–70 years||1,000 mg||1200 mg|
|>70 years||1200 mg||1200 mg|
The calcium needs of pregnant and lactating women are the same as above, depending on their age.
How to Consume Calcium Properly
Follow the doctor 's advice and read the information on the product packaging before taking calcium supplements.
Not everyone needs calcium supplements. Supplements are needed if calcium intake from food alone is not enough, the body needs more calcium, or there are certain diseases that interfere with calcium absorption.
In general, calcium supplements are needed by people who have the following conditions:
- Suffering from a deficiency or lack of calcium (hypocalcemia), chronic kidney failure , or osteoporosis
- Suffering from digestive disorders, such as colitis or celiac disease, which reduces calcium absorption
- Follow a vegan diet
- Suffers from lactose intolerance and limits consumption of dairy products
- Consuming excessive protein or sodium in the long term, so that the body excretes more calcium
- Taking corticosteroid drugs in the long term
- Already menopausal
If you have the above conditions, consult with your doctor to find out whether or not you need to take calcium supplements. The doctor will also determine the dosage of calcium supplements according to your needs and conditions.
In general, calcium supplements are recommended to be taken with meals for optimal absorption. However, supplements containing calcium citrate can be taken with or without food.
Swallow the supplement tablets with the help of plain water. Make sure there is enough time between doses. Try to take calcium at the same time to make it more effective.
Some calcium supplement products come with vitamin D. When taken together, vitamin D can help calcium absorption.
Store calcium supplements in a cool, dry place and avoid direct sunlight. Keep this supplement out of reach of children.
Interactions of Calcium with Other Drugs
The following interactions can occur when calcium supplements are used with certain medications:
- Severe damage to the lungs or kidneys when used with ceftriaxone
- Decreased effectiveness of bisphosphonates, quinolone class antibiotics, tetracycline antibiotics , dolutegravir, levothyroxine , or elvitegravir
- Increased risk of hypercalcemia when used with thiazide or lithium diuretics
- Increased levels of aluminum in the blood which can cause serious side effects, especially in people with kidney disease
- Increased risk of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) when used with digoxin
Side Effects and Dangers of Calcium
Calcium rarely causes side effects, especially when taken in the right dosage. However, if consumed in high doses, calcium supplements can cause side effects in the form of:
- Discomfort in the stomach
Consult a doctor if these side effects do not improve or get worse.
See your doctor right away if you have an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, mood changes, bone or muscle pain, increased thirst, or unusual tiredness.