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Hayden, ID 83835

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General Catalog - Oregano and Calcium - Colloidal Silver and Minerals - Ionic Minerals

What's The Best Way, And When, To Take Calcium Supplements?

There are conflicting recommendations about the best way to take calcium supplements. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus statement on optimal calcium intake recommends taking no more than 200 milligram (mg) doses between meals.

The recently published clinical guidelines for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists suggest taking supplemental calcium with meals and with a bedtime snack.

The decision to take the supplements with or between meals may be based on the type of supplement you're taking. Calcium carbonate (the most common type of calcium supplement) is more difficult to absorb on an empty stomach or in conditions where there is limited stomach acid. Therefore, absorption may be improved when it's taken with food, especially acidic foods such as citrus juice or fruit.

On the other hand, calcium citrate is better absorbed on an empty stomach. The citrate form does not require gastric acid for absorption. It's the preferred supplement for those lacking gastric acid, including older people, those who've had stomach surgery or those taking medications that block gastric acid production.

There is consensus, however, on the following:

  • The type and amount of calcium you take as a supplement should be based on your medical history and your average dietary intake of calcium.
  • Supplements should be taken in small no more than 200 mg doses throughout the day.
  • If you take an iron supplement, don't take it at the same time as your calcium supplement. Calcium can interfere with the absorption of iron.

The latest (1997) recommendations for calcium intake by the National Academy of Sciences state that adults under age 50 should aim for 1,000 mg daily while people over 50 should try for 1,200 mg daily.

*It needs to be noted that these suggested levels of calcium intake are based on the fact that calcium supplements (generally) aren't totally digested. If one takes the typical 1,000 mg calcium tablet, less than 25% of the available calcium will be digested.  Therefore, you receive approximatly only 250 mg of calcium.  There are calcium supplements now available that offer a 75% to 99% total availability, such as A to B CALM.


Go to our main Calcium page
Read the Calcium FAQ


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"These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any diseases."

The above is a Government ORDERED statement.
It is NOT based in either reality or sanity.
Just like our Government.

In a landmark decision on Friday, Jan. 15, 1999, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that
the health claim rules imposed by the FDA unconstitutional and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.
The court instructed the FDA to allow the use of disclaimers on labels rather than to suppress these claims outright.
The court further held prohibiting nutrient disease relationship claims invalid under the first Amendment to the Constitution.