Since the upper level of intake (UL) is 2500mg of calcium, taking 3000mg may not be too detrimental to your health. Toxic effects of calcium have only been seen in those who are taking high doses of calcium supplement as carbonate as an antacid. Toxic effects include:
- hypercalcemia with renal calcification
Osteopenia is characterised by a low bone mineral density (compared to normal peak bone density), but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. I am not a doctor, just a nutritionist and student dietitian, but I haven't read any research anywhere that suggests a high dose of calcium as a supplement in the treatment of osteopenia.
From what I know, making sure you are getting the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of both calcium and vitamin D (as listed in my first response) is what I would suggest. Of course there are chemicals in foods which can inhibit calcium absorption like phytates and oxalates found in spinach, rhubarb, legumes, beans, peas and wheat bran so try to avoid taking your calcium supplement with these foods to enhance the absorption of calcium. Caffeine and excess amounts of protein can also prevent calcium absorption.
My recommendation would be to make sure you are getting enough calcium-rich foods in your diet each day (at least 2 serves of dairy products) and enough vitamin D by getting a few minutes of sun outside the peak UV period (before 10am and after 2pm) in the summer on most days of the week. I would also suggest getting in some weight training as this helps to build strong bones.
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