Calcium supplementation causes constipation. It is one of the best kept secrets from women who are, by far, the major consumers taking this supplement en masse for many years in an attempt to reduce the degree of postmenopausal osteoporosis. About two decades ago, I proposed that calcium consumption was a major cause of divorce, and divorce would, in part, increase over time simply because women were increasingly consuming it.
Why this belief? Women are naturally more constipated than men for unknown natural reasons. Constipation leads to mood swings including psychological changes ranging from depression, fatigue, lethargy, irritability to decreased patience, among others.
In the early 80’s the NIH published the consensus of a group of medical experts who, based on existing scientific and clinical studies, recommended calcium supplementation for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Shortly after, the consumption of calcium by women increased dramatically which continues today. I believe that such consumption has significantly increased women’s already natural state of constipation significantly increasing the negative psychological impact. (About 10% of men take calcium supplementation).
Parallel to the substantial increase in calcium consumption and psychological stress has been a dramatic increase in our divorce rate. Though there is no statistical evidence to support a direct link between the two, from a medical point of view, it is not unreasonable to assume that chronic negative mood changes among men and women due to constipation, from any cause, can lead to unsettling marriage relationships and contribute as an added factor among the various modern stressful factors causing divorce.
You may justifiably wonder why this possible linkage of such immense importance to women, men, family and country, even apart from the divorce one, has escaped unnoticed. As with many things in life, there is no obvious answer. One possible reason is that Americans are very reluctant to discuss their bowels movements with others. They have no problem openly discussing other maladies such as arthritis, heart disease and cancer but revealing the frequency and nature of their bowel movements is just not done! Bowel movement patterns remain a very private affair even in our open American society!
I was not successful coming upon reliable data regarding the consumption of calcium by young women. They should be aware of calcium constipator effect.
I would rate the potential calcium-constipation unhappiness phenomenon as an urgent issue of national concern and, because of its dramatic upheaval impact, equivalent to that of our economy that should be seriously examined.
(Though I do not prescribe over the Internet there’s something I think women should know about and discuss with their physicians: Magnesium is an essential structural component of bone, and there are studies which indicate that it may have a beneficial effect on bone and possibly add to calcium’s beneficial effect. In addition, it has an opposite effect on bowel movements than calcium causing loose stools and diarrhea and may decrease the calcium-induced constipation. It may, therefore, make sense to take both of them instead of calcium alone.)