Calcium for bone health is one of the most widely doctor-recommended supplements, but conventional advice to take it typically omits a few important facts. Too much supplemental calcium, as well as too little, can be detrimental to your health. And it doesn’t work alone. Calcium needs a few other important nutrients—magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2—to deliver its rightful benefits.
Calcium and Magnesium
These two minerals need to be balanced because they work together in the human body. For example, calcium excites nerves and makes muscles contract, while magnesium calms nerves and makes muscles relax. Calcium is used in blood clotting, while magnesium helps to prevent dangerous clots.
Too much calcium in relation to magnesium leads to an exaggerated and lingering stress response in nerves, muscles, and hormones. Such an imbalance can also raise levels of chronic inflammation and is linked to heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, cognitive problems, and premature death. And this type of imbalance is rampant.
During the past few decades, studies have suggested that the optimum ratio of calcium to magnesium is under 2:1—at least 250 mg of magnesium with 500 mg of calcium, as an example. But the typical American consumes a ratio of 3:1—too little magnesium in relation to calcium.
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