FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter May 2003
Calcium it is Not all equal!
Calcium is an essential element for biological processes in the body. It is used for bones, a buffer of blood, and in muscle contraction. We get good bioasorbable calcium from dark green leafy vegatables, salmon , etc. Most experts agree to get the amount that is needed that supplementation is required. Not all supplements are created equal. Several questions have to be asked.
For what purpose are you taking the calcium?
How much of the calcium are you capable of absorbing?
When are you taking the calcium?
In the case of calcium supplements, bioavailability refers to the amount of calcium a person actually absorbs from a supplement, rather than the amount of elemental calcium the supplement contains before it is taken. Although calcium carbonate contains more elemental calcium than calcium citrate, it is not as readily available to the body overall. A meta-analysis recently done confirms that calcium citrate provides superior bio-availability of calcium. Calcium carbonate requires an acidic environment in order to be absorbed. Stomach acid increases in the presence of food, so calcium carbonate should be taken with a meal. Calcium citrate does not require extra stomach acid to be dissolved, and can be taken on an empty stomach..
Calcium lactate while it delivers less elemental calcium to the bloodstream it seems to be much more readily used by the muscles. When you take calcium and magnesium salts of lactic acid the lactates are delivered to muscle tissues in an alkaline form. The muscles have much less soreness and pain, especially after strenuous exercise.
Calcium Apatite has been shown by radioactive tissue tagging to be more absorbable in the bones than other calcium tested.
All calcium's need vit. D, magnesium and phosphorus to work and absorb. In addition boron has been shown to help increase bone density.
Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith