Everyone should be taking calcium supplements. Calcium is critically important to your health in so many ways, and it’s nearly impossible to get enough from diet alone.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as going down to the local drug store and grabbing the first calcium supplement you see. There are several different forms of calcium, and each is absorbed differently. And multiple studies have shown that unabsorbed calcium can be quite a serious problem.
What You Need To Know: Different Forms Of Calcium Supplements
Calcium Carbonate: This is the least absorbed – yet also cheapest and most available – form of calcium supplement. It’s what you find in Tums, and in the vast majority of drug store supplements. Calcium carbonate requires stomach acid to break down, therefore it must be taken with food. Studies have shown increased risks of heart attacks and other “cardiovascular events” associated with calcium carbonate supplements, most likely because the low absorption rate leaves calcium to settle in joints, arteries and to be filtered out by the kidneys (leading also to a possibly increased risk of kidney stones.)
Coral Calcium: This form has received a lot of hype, but unfortunately it’s still basically just calcium carbonate that happens to come from a coral reef. It will have small amounts of magnesium and other trace minerals, but is no better absorbed (or chemically different) than standard calcium carbonate.
Calcium Citrate:Most of the general public believes this is the best absorbed form of calcium available. This is the form you find in Citracal and many other “better” calcium supplements. It does not need to be taken with food as it is water soluble. However, studies have shown that it does not lessen the risks that can be associated with calcium carbonate. Recent studies have also shown little difference in the effects and absorption rates of calcium carbonate and citrate supplements.
Calcium bisglycinate: You’ll see this one linked to ads claiming “92% absorption.” Unfortunately, not a lot of independent study has been conducted on this form of calcium supplement. While it seems that it may indeed be easily dissolved, there just isn’t a lot of published research showing this form of calcium to make a difference to bone health or to be safe from the risks of heart attacks or kidney stones. In fact, there is only a single commonly-referenced study that included bisglycinate. It, however, was taken under different methods so comparisons of absorbability cannot be made.
Calcium Citramate:(also known as Calcium Citrate Malate): Has been widely studied, and shown to be the safest, best absorbed form of calcium supplements. This study found it to strengthen bones, reduce fracture risk, and actually lower the risk of kidney stones (the only form of calcium to do so.) This study found Calcium citramate to be more effective at preventing bone loss than calcium carbonate. This article in the March, 1999 Life Extension looks at the various forms of calcium and their absorption rates.
Taking into account not just absorption rates but also documented effects on bone health, as well as safety in regards to heart risks and kidney stones, aProven Product recommends you take a calcium supplement in the form of calcium citramate, along with a handful of supporting ingredients. To learn more about the product we currently recommend, click here.