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What is the Best Way to Take Calcium Supplements

Updated on September 28, 2011

Calcium one of the most important nutrient for health and vitality is found in many food items in nature. Many people who do not take enough calcium from diet prefer to take dietary supplements. When your body is low on calcium it steals calcium from bones to fulfill need. In such condition bones depletion occur which can cause serious problems like osteoporosis or bones fracture. Therefore calcium should be taken according to your daily requirement. Like all other nutritional supplements calcium should be taken in such a way that it can get best absorbed in body.


Absorption of Calcium Supplements

Calcium absorption is affected by few factors so before taking these supplements you should know how calcium can be best absorbed in body.

General Considerations

  1. Presence of Vitamin D Absorption of calcium is highly dependent on vitamin D amount in body. Most of the calcium supplements are already fortified with vitamin D. Check out your supplement whether it contains both calcium and vitamin D or not. Vitamin D is a co-factor in calcium absorption. Vitamin D is taken from food and is prepared in the body from exposure of skin to sunlight. Any deficiency of vitamin D can lead to excretion of calcium from body. 
  2. Calcium in Liquid Form Secondly, calcium absorption is better in liquid form then in solid pill. Today most of the calcium supplements are available in tablets that can be dissolved in water or other liquids, in solution it can be easily absorbed in body. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate both are available in liquid form. 
  3. Other Nutrients Like iron supplements calcium absorption can be easily affected by other nutrients, so calcium supplements should be taken along with only those nutrients that facilitate its absorption. Protein-rich diet may interfere with calcium absorption. Some minerals too effect calcium absorption. Magnesium, on the other hand, is essential for its absorption. Many calcium supplements contain magnesium too.
  4. Best Time to Take Calcium Supplements Some calcium supplements are best on empty stomach while other should be taken after or between meal. Calcium intake does not cause stomach upsets in general but some forms of calcium supplements like calcium citrate can cause stomach problems if taken on full stomach. On the other hand calcium carbonate can cause problems in empty stomach. If taken on inappropriate time calcium supplement can cause gastrointestinal problems like gas, constipation, diarrhea or bloating. 
  5. Amount of Calcium in Body Calcium absorption like that of iron get effected by the amount of calcium already present for absorption. Calcium supplements therefore should be taken in small doses. A 500 mg of calcium supplement at one time is better than 1000 mg dose in one time. Do not take dairy products just before or after taking calcium supplements. 
  6. Antioxidants in Coffee and Tea Calcium absorption decreases and more calcium is excreted in urine and feces if coffee and tea is consumed in high amount. This fact has also been linked with iron absorption. Antioxidants in tea can cause interference in absorption, therefore, do not take coffee and tea as a liquid to dissolve calcium supplement. 
  7. High-sodium Diet Junk food which is high in sodium can also reduce calcium absorption, increasing excretion of calcium in feces, urine and sweat. High salt content too can lead to calcium excretion.
  8. In addition calcium from food is better absorbed than calcium from supplements and at the same time calcium absorption is high in young age, as age advances calcium absorption decreases, therefore, calcium rich diet should be taken by young people and infants to help in the growth of bones.


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    • profile image

      Laura 3 years ago

      It is a wealthy metohd of obtaining healthy proteins plus fibers; in addition to high quantities of both the omegas three, six as well as 9 fatty acids that perform a vital role play a vital role in lowering blood cholesterol blood. As a result it has a really good effects in the defence of your heart and cardiovascular system. The benefits of acai berry really don't stop here.

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks BlissfulWriter for explanation, most of us do not know how calcium should be taken and we keep saying that we are having bones problems. Until conditions are suitable calcium does not absorb in body.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      Since vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption, the body's primary method of generating vitamin D is from the UV rays of the sun hitting the skin.

      That is also why they put vitamin D in calcium supplements and in milk.

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Ultimate Hubber, well as far as calcium + vitamin D supplements are concerned many of the calcium supplements available with different brand names in market contain vitamin D too. Vitamin D is present in them in either D2 or D3 form but both of them are equal in potency just their method of absorption is different. Secondly many of the food sources rich in calcium are also rich in vitamin D for example margarine, butter, milk, yogurt, cheese and cereals.

      There is another option available many food items in packaged form in the market are also fortified with vitamin D so check out for labels while buying calcium rich food.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 6 years ago

      Gulnaz, these are some really useful tips.

      Can you suggest some calcium supplements fortified with Vitamin D? And also some Vitamin D supplements?

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comment uol