Aa
A
A
A
Close
Vitamins & Supplements Community
380 Members
Avatar universal

What type of calcium is best for us

There are various types of calciums supplements available and i wonder which one is best for a 51 years old woman. Different physicians have recommended different ones. One said about calcium citrate and other about calcium citrate malate. Kindly explain all the types of calciums
1 Responses
Avatar universal
The more important question that needs to be answered first is, why did the doctor recommend a calcium supplement to you in the first place?  Most people in dairy consuming countries get too much calcium, not too little.  Dairy is quite high in calcium but quite deficient in magnesium.  The mineral most people lack who have a "calcium" problem is magnesium, not calcium.  Most times a doc recommends calcium supplementation especially for women is for bone strength and development.  But magnesium, as well as some trace minerals such as boron, are also essential for bone strength.  In bones, calcium and magnesium are in electrical balance opposing one another in maintaining the strength of the bone.  Too much calcium will leach magnesium out of the body (and vice versa) and out of the bones, making them brittle.  This is also a result of using forms of calcium that are not good ones, such as hydroxyapatite.  This is also a problem with drugs for bone strength, such as Boniva (which is why in your dentist's office as you sit there you're usually looking at a sign asking you to tell them if you're taking one of these drugs so they don't break something).  Complicated, eh?  A big part of the problem particularly in the US where bone strength is a problem greater than it should be given our overall wealth and food availability is that Americans don't like green leafy veggies that much.  But that's where you get the best absorbed calcium, and eat those stems on your broccoli, folks, the harder parts are full of minerals, and also a balance of good quality magnesium.  But if you're one of the many women who have been told dairy is good for your bones, you're leaching out your magnesium and actually building weaker bones.  Also, hormones play a factor in this as well.  So, both forms of calcium you mention are fine provided you actually need a calcium supplement.  Citrate is the most often recommended because minerals need an acidic stomach to be properly broken down and absorbed -- which brings up another problem, the large number of Americans on long-term treatment with acid suppressing drugs for digestive problems, the stomach needs that acid to break down both minerals and protein -- and citric acid is good for this.  Some just drink some orange juice with it for the same purpose.  The ones to avoid are mainly the ones that are actually rocks -- calcium carbonate, oyster shell calcium, as two examples -- too hard to break down for most people.  You can also buy a calcium/magnesium combo with the proper 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium.  But again, did your doctor do a test that shows you lack calcium?  Did he do one that checks magnesium?  I bet not.  So again, the first question is, do you have a particular problem that makes this supplement a requirement for you, and if so, both forms you have mentioned will probably be absorbed well by you.  But there are many different forms, and many are good.  Different people will absorb different ones better than others, but without some form of nutritional testing on a regular basis you won't really know which is best for you.  We can't explain all the forms of calcium because there are so many what are called chelates, meaning the calcium is calcium but the form is made different by both the sourcing and what is added (the chelate).  Now, something you can also do if you're concerned about bone health is to buy a bone formula or a balanced calcium formula -- there are many good ones in a better health food store.  They will contain many of the nutrients that go into building strong bones.  The most commonly used form, though, for good absorption is the citrate form, and the cheapest form are the rocks (by the way, for those who use Tums regularly that's one of the forms made of rock, and sometimes when these can't be broken down they get deposited where you don't want them, such as stones in your organs).  
2 Comments
Meant to say, most of us have also been told to take a Vitamin D supplement.  Remember that D helps you to absorb more calcium, which means if you're deficient in magnesium, this makes it even worse.
And also, some people's problem is that lack of D, which we normally get from being in the sun at peak hours but we've been told not to be in the sun to avoid skin cancer or we have lives that now are lived mostly indoors, so that's also a reason why some people have weak bones.
Have an Answer?
Top General Health Answerers
363281 tn?1518219421
Nelson, New Zealand
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
In this unique and fascinating report from Missouri Medicine, world-renowned expert Dr. Raymond Moody examines what really happens when we almost die.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
When it comes to your health, timing is everything
We’ve got a crash course on metabolism basics.
Learn what you can do to avoid ski injury and other common winter sports injury.
Here are the pros and cons of the top fad diets and weight loss plans of the year.