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Getting Enough Calcium and Vitamin D - Topic Overview

Are there any risks from taking calcium and vitamin D? continued...

The amount of calcium and vitamin D you get every day from all sources—including food, sunshine, and supplements—should not be more than the amount shown by age in the table below for "upper level intake." Upper level intake does not mean that most people need this amount or should try to get it. It means this is the maximum amount of calcium or vitamin D that is safe to take.

Upper level intake for calcium and vitamin D by age3
Age Upper level calcium intake (milligrams a day)Upper level vitamin D intake (international units a day)
1-3 years2,5002,500
4-8 years2,5003,000
9-18 years3,0004,000
19-50 years2,5004,000
51 and older2,0004,000

If you get too much calcium, you may get kidney stones, and if you get too much vitamin D, your kidneys and tissues may be damaged.3 Too much calcium can cause constipation. Too much vitamin D can cause nausea and vomiting, constipation, and weakness.

Getting too much vitamin D increases the amount of calcium in your blood. If this happens, you can become confused and have an irregular heart rhythm.

Calcium and vitamin D may interact with other medicines. A drug interaction happens when a medicine you take changes how another medicine works. One medicine may make another one less effective, or the combination of the medicines may cause a side effect you don't expect. Some drug interactions are dangerous.

Before you start taking calcium and/or vitamin D, tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and pills. Also tell your doctor about all of your current medical problems.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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