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Osteoporosis, Calcium & Salt

Kelly Shanahan

Question :

I am 54 years old. I received a diagnosis of osteoporosis a week ago. My doctor prescribed Fosamax, and I have stepped up my calcium intake from 600mg daily to well over 1,500mg. I have two questions: Can a person take too much calcium? And what link (if any) is there between osteoporosis and salt intake?

-- Harriett

Answer :

The recommended amount of calcium for a postmenopausal woman not on hormone replacement is 1,500mg per day. That can be a combination of food sources (the best) and supplements -- for supplements, use either calcium citrate or calcium carbonate. The amount you are taking is perfect! In most people, excess calcium is simply excreted, so the only harm is to the pocketbook. In some people, excess calcium may contribute to kidney stones; this is not terribly common.

There is no relationship between osteoporosis and salt intake, but excessive salt is not healthy. Most foods high in sodium are either (1) junk foods or (2) highly processed foods lacking in vitamins. High-sodium diets may contribute to high blood pressure and can certainly lead to some fluid retention. Salt is not "bad," but like everything else, it is best used in moderation.



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