The Different Kinds of Calcium: Your body has to break it down to use it.
What does Elemental Calcium mean on the label and why is it important?
This is the calcium that is actually absorbed by your bones, muscles and other tissues. Not all calcium forms contain the same amount of elemental calcium. Make sure the label states the elemental calcium, as well as the total calcium in the supplement.
Magnesium and Vitamin D are needed for your body to break down the calcium. A good supplement will include these two factors.
Tablet, Capsule, or Chewable: It has been shown that many people do not break down tablets. Tablets are cheaper but harder to absorb. Capsules contain the powder that is more easily utilized. Chewables are more easily absorbed depending on the other ingredients and the type of calcium in the chewable.
Oyster Shell: One of the cheapest but worst forms of calcium to take. Made from Oyster Shell; extremely hard to utilize because it needs a lot of stomach acid to break it down. Oyster Shell, dolomite, and bone meal have all been found to contain toxins including lead.
Calcium Carbonate: a mineral or salt found in most OTC antacids. It absorbs best when taken with breakfast and with a low iron meal. It also needs a lot of stomach acid to break it down. It is absorbed better when taken several times a day. Can cause constipation. It contains 40% elemental calcium but is inadequately absorbed by many individuals. Again, if your stomach is not digesting properly, you have low stomach acid, or over 50, or have any number of health problems that affect your stomach, this is not the best form of calcium to take.
Calcium Citrate: is more easily absorbed and does not take as much stomach acid to break it down. Take with food or on an empty stomach. It is a better choice for most people.
Calcium Hydroxyapatite One of the highest absorbed calcium supplements but more expensive.
Calcium Hydroxyapatite, or CH, is made by processing young bovine bone without the use of heat or chemicals. Because of this, it retains all of the bone minerals and residues and keeps them intact and in their original, natural physiological ratios. Amino acids, collagen, and mucopolysaccarides which would normally be lost during the manufacturing process, contribute to the desirable levels of calcium absorption into the bones.
CH also contains healthy doses of potassium, boron, zinc, magnesium, and chromium to aide in its effectiveness. To assist with reversing bone loss, CH also contains gel-like matter, proteoglycans, which assist in the filling of bone matter and help transfer minerals throughout the bone tissue.
It is so effective that this substance is now used in the creation of many bone implants, and in some cases, physicians may make a spreadable paste out of it and use it to directly repair bones. Because it has a porous surface, it lends itself to adhering to the already present bone, and will eventually begin to grow on its own.
Best absorbed when taken with food. Do not take more than the suggested dosage since it is absorbed at a higher rate than the other forms above. It is best to take the supplement 2 hours before taking iron supplements. Be aware of prescription medication warnings and calcium.
Interactions: Calcium may bind to antibiotics, iron supplements,blood pressure medicine, synthetic thyroid hormones, bisphophonates, calcium channel blockers, and other prescription medicines making them less effective. Read your prescription labels carefully.
Calcium in Foods:
- Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and yogurt
- Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
- Fish with edible soft bones, such as sardines and canned salmon
- Calcium-fortified foods and beverages, cereal and fruit juices