A new commentary has said that negative health effects associated with too much supplemental calcium are on the rise.
The finding appears in the upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN).
The incidence of the so-called milk-alkali or calcium-alkali syndrome is growing in large part because of widespread use of over-the-counter calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Stanley Goldfarb, MD and Ami Patel, MD (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) recommend changing the name of the milk-alkali syndrome to the calcium-alkali syndrome because the condition is now associated with a large intake of calcium, not milk.
Postmenopausal women, pregnant women, transplant recipients, patients with bulimia, and individuals who are on dialysis have the highest risks of developing the calcium-alkali syndrome due to various physiological reasons.
According to the authors, the obvious preventive strategy against the calcium-alkali syndrome is to limit the intake of calcium to no more than 1.2 to 1.5 grams per day.
"Calcium supplements taken in the recommended amounts are not only safe but are quite beneficial. Taken to excess is the problem," said Dr. Goldfarb. "Even at the recommended dose, careful monitoring of any medication is wise and yearly determinations of blood calcium levels for those patients taking calcium supplements or vitamin D is a wise approach," he added.