The Side Effects of Calcium Carbonate You Need to Know

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

A lot of people take calcium carbonate. It’s hiding in most calcium supplements, and some doctors are even recommending it. People take massive amounts of calcium carbonate thinking they’re supporting their bones and other areas of their health, and not knowing that instead, it could actually be creating other serious issues.

Calcium carbonate is a commonly used supplement for individuals who need to increase their calcium intake. While this supplement is generally safe for most people, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of.

One common side effect of calcium carbonate is constipation, as the supplement can slow down digestive processes and reduce the frequency of bowel movements. Additionally, taking high doses of calcium carbonate over an extended period of time can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Other potential side effects of calcium carbonate include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

If you are experiencing side effects from calcium carbonate, it may be helpful to support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption through the use of ox bile and purified bile salts supplements. These supplements can help promote efficient breakdown and absorption of nutrients, which is particularly important for individuals who may be experiencing digestive issues.

The benefits of ox bile and purified bile salts supplements extend beyond nutrient absorption as well, as they can support healthy digestion and promote optimal liver function.

In some cases, the side effects produced by calcium carbonate are the same conditions the person was trying to prevent or treat by taking it in the first place. In other cases, the side effects could be worse. Are the side effects of calcium carbonate worth taking it?

In this article, I will cover:

White chalky-looking rocks mostly contained of calcium carbonate against a white background


What Is Calcium Carbonate?

Calcium is an essential mineral that has incredible benefits that extend beyond bone health alone. Calcium carbonate is a form of calcium that’s basically limestone—it’s rocks. You would be better off just chewing on the cement outside. I do not believe calcium carbonate is meant for human consumption. Yet, this is the most common form of calcium found in multivitamin supplements and calcium supplements.

Calcium carbonate is also a key ingredient in most antacids. Many people take antacids to help relieve symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux. But, ironically, calcium carbonate can also create these symptoms. This can cause you to end up in a cycle of taking antacids for short-term relief and then having more symptoms caused by the antacids. While you’re deep in this cycle, the calcium carbonate could wreak havoc on your body and never actually help remedy the root issue.

We really need to be getting calcium from vegetables and other healthy foods. Things like cheese, kale, broccoli, and salmon are all great choices. If you have to take a calcium supplement, calcium citrate, calcium lactate, and calcium gluconate may be much better choices over calcium carbonate.

A close-up of a bottle of colorful antacids spilled out on a wooden table


What You Need to Know About Calcium Carbonate

Before you swallow another calcium supplement or take another antacid, there are a few things you really need to know about calcium carbonate.

Calcium Carbonate and Heartburn

I mentioned how calcium carbonate could actually cause heartburn, but let’s talk a little bit more about why that happens. Calcium and other minerals need an acidic medium for them to be absorbed. If your stomach acid is not at a high enough level, the calcium will not be absorbed too well.

A lot of people take calcium carbonate for heartburn. But, what happens is the calcium carbonate actually dries up the acid in the stomach over time to the point where you have less and less acid. So not only is the calcium not being absorbed well or is benefiting you in any way, but it also ends up causing heartburn. In my opinion, apple cider vinegar might be a better choice for heartburn or acid reflux.

But, of course, check with your doctor before taking this advice or changing any regimen you may be on.

Calcium Carbonate and Bone Density

Many women start taking calcium supplements later in life to try to help prevent osteoporosis or osteopenia. But are you ready for this? Some studies show that high doses of calcium carbonate did not actually increase bone density in the condition of osteoporosis. However, it could increase the risk of heart attacks—especially in post-menopausal women. In many osteoporosis cases, calcium isn’t even the problem. The root problem may more likely have to do with cortisol.

Calcium Carbonate and Thyroid Function

Calcium carbonate may even lower thyroid function and block a person’s ability to utilize T3. T3 is the active thyroid hormone. The T3 thyroid hormone controls things like:

  • Metabolism

  • Heart rate

  • Digestion

  • Body temperature

  • Mood

  • Much more!

- A senior Asian man sitting on a couch next to a glass of water about to take a calcium carbonate supplement


Calcium Carbonate Side Effects and Contraindications

The list of calcium carbonate adverse effects is interesting. There are also quite a few different health situations where taking calcium carbonate could be harmful to the body. For example, if a person has arthritis (calcification), why would they want to add more calcium to that situation? On top of that, calcium carbonate can have a severe interaction with 210 drugs.

So, let me give you another example to think about. Let’s say a person who’s older has low hydrochloric acid and starts to experience heartburn. Now, they’re taking calcium carbonate to help with heartburn as well as to help prevent bone loss—increasing their levels of calcium carbonate even more. This person is also on multiple other medications, some of which could have an interaction with calcium carbonate. This situation sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

Calcium Carbonate Side Effects

  1. Loss of Appetite

  2. Constipation

  3. Gas

  4. Nausea

  5. Vomiting

  6. Decreased Hydrochloric Acid

Contraindications of Calcium Carbonate

  1. Kidney Stones

  2. Hypercalcemia

  3. Calcification


Key Takeaways—Calcium Carbonate Side Effects

Calcium is incredibly important for a healthy body. But, what’s also important is making sure you’re getting calcium from the right sources. Calcium carbonate may not be the best source out there. The adverse effects of calcium carbonate, the contraindications of calcium carbonate, and the drug interactions with calcium carbonate definitely raise some red flags. In the long run, calcium carbonate has the potential to cause more harm than good.

A great way to get the calcium you need is from food. Skip the pasteurized milk and get your calcium from vegetables—they’re a great source! If you’re not sure where to begin to fix your diet, the healthy keto diet and intermittent fasting are a great place to start. Not only will this eating plan encourage you to consume more foods that contain calcium, but it will also help support and enhance your overall well-being.

Up Next:-

Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan