We’re all aware of the importance of calcium to strengthen our bones, right? Lifelong dietary calcium intake is very important to keep us healthy and ward off bone loss and osteoporosis. Diet combined with weight-bearing exercise is important to build and maintain maximum bone density. So, what about calcium supplements to help? Recent studies are showing they may be ineffective and even dangerous at higher levels of consumption, but they can absolutely provide benefits when taken properly! Here’s what you need to know about calcium supplements.
Take the right form
Avoid the poorly absorbed form calcium carbonate, which is cheap and might even contain traces of lead. Avoid calcium phosphate too, as it’s poorly absorbed and can create stomach irritation. The preferred form for any calcium supplement is calcium citrate. It has good absorption and uptake without the risks the other forms may pose to your health.
Don’t take too much
Take no more than 500mg of calcium daily in supplement form. According to current research, this is a safe level of calcium supplementation to adhere to. Anything above this may expose you to an increased risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease. Excess calcium intake can also negatively affect the absorption of iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphate in your body while putting undue strain on your kidneys.
Take it with vitamin D & vitamin A
The good eyesight vitamin, vitamin A, also plays a direct role in the process of borrowing and redepositing calcium in our bones. Again, be aware of how much you take, as too much vitamin A in the form of retinol can promote fractures. Look for a multivitamin with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which has fracture risk or adverse health effects. It’s best to choose a supplement that also includes magnesium and vitamin D, as research suggests that calcium-only supplements may do more harm than good. If you take an antacid that contains only calcium, consider also adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet. The vitamin D amount should be 1,000+ IU for good absorption of calcium.
Take it at the right time
It matters when you take your supplements! Taking a calcium supplement in the evening with a meal will provide maximum benefits. This will allow for slow absorption and also mitigate any spikes in blood calcium levels that can interfere with the homeostatic calcium level controls (and avoid potential blood calcium deposits ending up in our arteries).
If you have more questions about calcium supplementation in general, effective supplement brands, or our recommended multivitamin products, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here to help and want to see you live your healthiest, joyful life.