In my opinion, although calcium is obviously a very necessary element, in many cases calcium supplements are promoted with disregard to the fact that many people’s intake of magnesium is extremely low.
It is a situation where the promotion of calcium can lead to a calcium/magnesium ratio that is out of balance, i.e. calcium is too high.
If calcium levels become too high in relation to magnesium, symptoms of excess calcium or more correctly ‘calcium out of solution ‘will occur. Symptoms such as bony growths, hardening of the arteries or other cardiac damage…. leading to defective eyesight and hearing, gouty symptoms, arthritic symptoms and the possibility of urinary calculi.
People taking calcium supplements often have digestive problems due to the fact that calcium is very alkaline and if taken at meal time will effectively counteract the stomach acids that are necessary for digestion. To prevent these problems occurring, calcium should always be taken in conjunction with magnesium and taken away from meal times.
To check calcium / magnesium ratios, the best method I know of is to get a hair analysis done. This will show all your minerals levels plus some laboratories will give a list of relevant ratios and details on how to correct them if necessary.
See a Naturopath to arrange for this to be done.
Blood tests, on the other hand, are usually taken for serum magnesium levels and deficiency may go unnoticed as the bulk of magnesium storage occurs within the cells.
Also a warning… often the promotion of calcium supplements to women by various health organisations, disregards the chronic low in take of magnesium of much of the Australian and NZ populations.
Probably the safest way to supplement with any mineral is to take it in the form of Colloidal minerals as in this way all minerals are supplies in conjunction with all trace elements and therefore will attain their own balance.
See page on ‘Minerals – facts’ and ‘Minerals – why we need to supplement’.
Also remember that calcium can be obtained from many food sources, not just dairy products. Foods such as the following contain good levels: Sea foods, seaweeds, kelp, sesame seeds, tahini, almonds, brazil and hazel nuts, watercress, fresh greens, parsley, figs, black treacle, tofu, goats and sheep milk, chick peas, soy and kidney beans.