Calcium supplements have become some of the world's top
selling nutrition products. People know they need more calcium and are consuming it. But what's the best way to take calcium?
First, you must choose the best type of calcium to consume. Not all calcium supplements are the same and the type of calcium used can have an impact on effectiveness. The three forms of calcium used in the majority of products available are calcium citrate, carbonate and gluconate. Calcium citrate and carbonate are absorbable forms of calcium.
However, you should be aware that some unrefined calcium citrate and carbonate supplements may contain high levels of lead and could be difficult for sensitive stomachs to digest, especially if the calcium is derived from limestone, oyster shells, dolomite, bone meal or underwater rock sources. Calcium gluconate is considered a highly soluble form of calcium, is primarily plant derived and is virtually lead-free.
Second, you should be aware of the other ingredients used in a calcium supplement. Some over-the-counter calcium supplements contain sugars, artificial colors, waxes, dyes, talc or other chemicals, which are not needed for calcium absorption and, in many cases, may hinder calcium's complete absorption.
Last, calcium requires acidity and works with magnesium for proper absorption in the blood stream. Antacids are a popular method of calcium consumption and are made predominantly of calcium. The question is, can your body use it? An antacid, works by "drying" up stomach acid to relieve indigestion. However, calcium must be in an acidic environment to be absorbed.