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    Confused About Calcium Supplements?

    Side Effects and Interactions

    Gas, bloating, and constipation are more common with calcium carbonate. That's another reason to divvy your dose up into servings and to take them with food. Drinking more fluids may help you avoid these symptoms, too.

    Trying a new type of calcium supplement? Start with a small dose, like 200-300 milligrams daily for a week, and build up gradually.

    Calcium can make certain drugs less effective, so talk to your doctor if you're taking a prescription medicine for osteoporosis or Paget's disease, seizures, or thyroid problems, or an antibiotic.

    Some antacids, laxatives, and steroids can pull calcium out of your body or keep you from using it well.

    The Vitamin D Connection

    Your body needs vitamin D in order to take in and use calcium. And if you're like almost 3/4 of Americans, you aren't getting the recommended amount: 400-800 international units daily for adults under 50, and 800-1,000 if you're older. So, many calcium supplements also include vitamin D.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on December 28, 2015
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