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Are You Overdosing On Dietary Supplements?

Updated on September 7, 2011

How Much Calcium is too Much

I have been taking calcium supplements for many years and haven’t noticed any difference in my blood work. Come to find out, taking more than your body needs does not equilibrate to an increase in your calcium levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Calcium is absorbed most efficiently when it's taken in amounts of 500 or 600 milligrams (mg) or less at one time. If you take 1,000 mg of calcium a day, split it into two or more doses over the course of the day.”

The MUSC Center for Osteoporosis and Bone Health, reiterated these facts by stating, “Approximately 500 milligrams of calcium can be taken at one time. Therefore, do not take all supplements at the same time. If you and your doctor have agreed you need supplementation, be sure to take it three times a day or approximately one-third at a time. To avoid taking too much, do not take more than 2,500 milligrams (of calcium) per day.

Technically, I have been overdosing my calcium intake and really not doing my body any good. This made me wonder what other supplements I might be taking incorrectly.

Supplements effect your medications

Calcium supplements may interact with antibiotics, bisphosphonates and high blood pressure medicines. Be careful if you are taking blood thinners, or using Mylanta or Maalox. These meds should be taken two hours after calcium. Do not take too much of any water soluble vitamin such as vitamin C, This would be a waste of your money, as you just pee out the extra. Plan a morning and evening dosage.

CoQ10 needs oil or fat to dissolve so should be taken with vitamin A, D and E. Vitamin E works together with CoQ10 to enhance the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Beware if you are taken Lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug, and other statins, because they can reduces levels of CoQ10 up to 40%.

Crestor (rosuvastatin) recommends taken CoQ10 from 30 – 100mg per day. Also Vitamin B3 helps increase the effect of the statin. If you are trying to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol and still enjoy a bit of margarine on your bread, potatoes or vegetables. Make sure you use a margarine containing Sitostanol. This can be found in Benecol and Take Control. These products help lower the LDL.

Many side effects associated with taking statins could be reduced when taken vitamins such as folic acid, B12, B6, C and E.

Change the Time you take a supplement

Dr. George Grossberg of Saint Louis University has co-authored a book called The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide. It will be well worth your time to check any dietary supplements you are taken to make sure you are getting 100% benefit. Information such as: taking ginkgo biloba may cause an increase risk of bleeding, taking St. John’s wort for anxiety and depression if taking with Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil may cause agitation, and rapid heart beat, flushy and heavy sweating.

I have just started taking CoQ10 and I recommend it to anyone who experiences joint pain. My knees ached when getting up, or changing positions. Just taking 75mg at noontime has made a very noticeable difference. I will change my calcium to half a pill, twice a day and make sure I take my B-complex with my cholesterol medicine. As always, make sure any change is approved by your doctor.


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    • sharonsuccess profile image


      7 years ago

      taking supplements that your body needs is good for your body, that is why you need to first talk to a nutritionist or have an evaluation done to see what your body actually needs. Please check out my hub on supplements.


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