In general, we recommend using a calcium supplement for individuals who do not meet their daily requirements through diet alone. Choose a national brand that meets U.S.P (United States Pharmacopeia) standards so that you can be sure that the chosen supplement dissolves and is absorbed easily, as well as to guarantee the purity of the supplement. Avoid natural sources such as bone meal or dolomite as they may contain toxic ingredients such as lead or mercury.
There are a multitude of calcium supplements that are available. The following are just a sampling of effective calcium formulations on the market to help you choose wisely.
|Name||Type||Strength per tab
|OsCal||calcium carbonate||625 or 1250||250 or 500|
|Titralac Tablets||calcium carbonate||420||168|
|Titralac Liquid (1tsp)||calcium carbonate||1000||400|
|Tums and Tums E-X||calcium carbonate||500 or 750||200 or 300|
|Tums Ultra and Tums 500||calcium carbonate||1000 or 1250||400 or 500|
|Citracal Liquidtabs||calcium citrate||2376 mg/tab||500|
|Citracal||calcium citrate||950 mg/tab||200|
|Citracal Caplets + D||calcium citrate||1500|| 315 + 200 I. U.
|Posture||calcium phosphate||1500 mg/tab||600 mg|
|Posture-D||calcium phosphate||1500 mg/tab|| 600 mg + 125 I.U.
Calcium is best absorbed if consumed in split doses throughout the day. Generally, our bodies can only absorb about 500 mg of elemental calcium at a time. We recommend that you choose a particular hour, or meal, to take the supplement regularly, thereby establishing a habit. Some calcium experts recommend taking a dose of calcium just before bedtime.
Certain substances in foods such as spinach, rhubarb, caffeine containing drinks, and whole grains are believed to reduce the amount of calcium your body can absorb. In truth, they will have little impact on the calcium supplement or calcium-containing foods eaten at the same time. These foods are important and should be included in a healthy, well-balanced diet. It would require eating very large amounts of wheat bran, for example, to have a significantly negative effect on calcium absorption.
Aluminum-containing antacids, iron supplements and some prescription medications will interfere with absorption and retention of your calcium supplement and vice versa. Consult your physician about the possibility of such an interaction.
|Adapted from the Calcium Information Center.|