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Home > Supplement Categories > Calcium and Magnesium
Exploring the Benefits and Side Effects of Calcium

Calcium and Magnesium Supplements

List of supplements at bottom

The body requires constant, well defined levels of calcium in the blood at all times to maintain proper heart conduction and muscle function. It does this by pulling calcium from the biggest reservoir in your body- your bones! Your body accommodates this loss by constantly replacing it with calcium that you consume in your diet.

Calcium requirements for adults range from 800mg- 1200mg per day. For teens, pregnant and lactating women, and menopausal women, that target increases to 1200mg per day to supply needs for rebuilding bones and thus, protection against osteoporosis.

Calcium supplements: The most common type is calcium carbonate. This form is the cheapest to manufacture, but it is also the most difficult for the body to absorb. In addition, supplementing with the carbonate form of calcium may increase your chance of developing kidney stones, unlike calcium citrate. Calcium citrate is pricier, but easier to absorb, as well as the "chelated" forms of calcium. When comparing labels, look for the specific amount of "calcium" or "elemental calcium" of each capsule of tablet, not just the total milligram amount of the supplement.

Calcium in the diet: Be sure to focus on the total amount of calcium that you receive through your diet in addition to supplementation. Common food sources containing calcium include almonds, sesame seeds, almond milk, oranges, dairy products (see section below "Concerns about Dairy"), sardines, tofu and dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens and bok choy. Since these vegetables impart many important nutrients and protective health benefits in addition to calcium, it is is a good idea to focus on meal choices that include at least one of these each day. Steaming or lightly sautéing fibrous greens is a great way to make their nutrients more easily absorbed. Broccoli sautéed with sesame seeds is an excellent Calcium packed dish.

How to take calcium: Supplemental calcium is best absorbed when taken with meals, and unless a healthcare professional recommends you to do otherwise for your specific concerns. Select products with either a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio of calcium: magnesium to support the requirements of each nutrient.

Magnesium is one of the most deficient minerals in the US diet (along with Zinc). It is critical for the body to properly use calcium and promote bone growth and repair. Some important functions regulated by magnesium are muscle relaxation, heart rhythm, blood pressure reduction, glucose metabolism, energy, and brain function. Although many supplements come in a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium, if you are deficient in magnesium, you may benefit from taking twice as much magnesium than calcium or more. Common magnesium deficiency symptoms are insomnia, high blood pressure, tight muscle, charlie horses, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, depression, poor energy, and weight problems.

If you have problems with heart arrhythmia, kidney stones, or have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism, talk to your doctor first to find out the correct amount of calcium to supplement with your diet.

What can I do to help prevent osteoporosis?

Concerns about dairy products

 

Products (Total Items: 29)

Cal/Mag w/ Cofactors Powder by Pure Encapsulations
Cal/Mag w/ Cofactors Powder by Pure Encapsulations
315 gm
USD $28.50
Buy
OsteoForce 120 tabs by Designs For Health (DFH)
OsteoForce 120 tabs by Designs For Health (DFH)
120 Tablets
USD $31.35
Buy
Tri-Magnesium Capsules by Biogenesis Nutraceuticals
Tri-Magnesium Capsules by Biogenesis Nutraceuticals
120 vCaps
USD $25.80
Buy
Magnesium Glycinate 90 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations
Magnesium Glycinate 90 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations
90 vcaps
USD $19.50
Buy
Calcium Malate caps by Designs for Health
Calcium Malate caps by Designs for Health
250mg 120 capsules
USD $26.40
Buy
Magnesium Malate by Pharmax
Magnesium Malate by Pharmax
120 caps
USD $19.70
Buy
Liquid Calcium Mint by Integrative Therapeutics
Liquid Calcium Mint by Integrative Therapeutics
Discontinued
USD Click to view alternate product recommendation
Buy
Calcium (MCHA) with Magnesium by Pure Encapsulations
Calcium (MCHA) with Magnesium by Pure Encapsulations
180 vcapsules
USD $38.10
Buy
Cal/Mag Aspartate Salts 2:1 by Karuna
Cal/Mag Aspartate Salts 2:1 by Karuna
90 Tablets
USD $16.70
Buy
Cal Mag Liquid (Mint) Small 12.2oz. (360ml) by Genestra
Cal Mag Liquid (Mint) Small 12.2oz. (360ml) by Genestra
Discontinued
USD Click to view alternate product recommendation
Buy
Magnelevures by Unda (Nervous system support)
Magnelevures by Unda (Nervous system support)
30 sachets
USD $42.80
Buy
MagneGel (Previously MagneDerm) Transdermal Magnesium Gel by Designs for Health (DFH)
MagneGel (Previously MagneDerm) Transdermal Magnesium Gel by Designs for Health (DFH)
8 oz gel
USD $19.80
Buy
Cal : Mag Berry Liquid + 15.2 fl oz by Pharmax
Cal : Mag Berry Liquid + 15.2 fl oz by Pharmax
15.2 fl oz
USD $37.20
Buy
Cal Mag Raspberry Liquid by Genestra
Cal Mag Raspberry Liquid by Genestra
450 ml
USD $36.10
Buy
Cal Mag Vanilla Liquid + by Genestra
Cal Mag Vanilla Liquid + by Genestra
15.2 fl oz (450 ml)
USD $37.20
Buy
Calcium Magnesium (citrate/malate) by Pure Encapsulations
Calcium Magnesium (citrate/malate) by Pure Encapsulations
180 vcaps
USD $25.20
Buy
Cal/Mag (malate) 2:1 by Pure Encapsulations
Cal/Mag (malate) 2:1 by Pure Encapsulations
180 vcaps
USD $26.20
Buy
Calcium (citrate) by Pure Encapsulations
Calcium (citrate) by Pure Encapsulations
180 vcaps
USD $21.60
Buy
Magnesium Glycinate 360 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations
Magnesium Glycinate 360 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations
360 vcaps
USD $62.70
Buy
Magnesium Glycinate 180 vcaps  by Pure Encapsulations
Magnesium Glycinate 180 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations
180 vcaps
USD $33.40
Buy
OsteoForce 240 tabs by Designs For Health (DFH)
OsteoForce 240 tabs by Designs For Health (DFH)
240 Tablets
USD $57.75
Buy
Liquid Calcium Magnesium Vanilla by Integrative Therapeutics
Liquid Calcium Magnesium Vanilla by Integrative Therapeutics
Discontinued
USD Click to view alternate product recommendation
Buy
Cal-6 + Mg 250 tabs by Douglas Labs
Cal-6 + Mg 250 tabs by Douglas Labs
250 tabs
USD $19.40
Buy
Cal Mag Liquid 2:1 Strawberry by Karuna
Cal Mag Liquid 2:1 Strawberry by Karuna
32 oz
USD $29.20
Buy
InGear Magnesium B6 powder for kids by Metabolic Maintenance
InGear Magnesium B6 powder for kids by Metabolic Maintenance
138 Grams / 120 servings
USD $31.00
Buy
Tricalcidin-3 Extra Strength 60 tabs by ZyCal Bioceuticals
Tricalcidin-3 Extra Strength 60 tabs by ZyCal Bioceuticals
60 tabs
USD $21.00
Buy
Liquid Magnesium 8 oz by Douglas Labs
Liquid Magnesium 8 oz by Douglas Labs
8 oz
USD $26.40
Buy
Cal-Mag Chela-Max 90 caps by Integrative Therapeutics
Cal-Mag Chela-Max 90 caps by Integrative Therapeutics
90 caps
USD $19.70
Buy
Cal/Mag/D liquid by Pure Encapsulations
Cal/Mag/D liquid by Pure Encapsulations
480 mL
USD $32.70
Buy
 

What can I do to help prevent Osteoporosis?

1. If you are a woman, you should be consuming between 1,000mg to 1,200mg of calcium per day from combined food and supplement sources, 400mg of magnesium, and 1,000 IU of Vitamin D (or from the sun a few times a week wearing no sunblock except on face if desired. Read more here for Dr. Holick's Vit D recommendations).

2. Bone formula supplements should include a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium unless you have symptoms of magnesium deficiency (insomnia, high blood pressure, tight muscle, charlie horse, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, depression, poor energy), and then you should have a more equal ratio. Try to also increase sources of dietary magnesium with food choices such as: artichokes, figs, barley, buckwheat flour, oat bran, brown rice, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, and a variety of beans.

3. Increase weight bearing exercises, examples include: weight lifting, toning, Pilates, yoga, tai chi, dancing, and participation in sports.

4. AVOID SODA. (including diet sodas.) Soda intake is significantly associated with bone loss and demineralization, especially in women. This is believed to be a result of the phosphoric acid content in these drinks.

5. Avoid excess consumption of refined and sugary foods.

6. Avoid ingestion of excess animal proteins in diet. Balance your protein requirements to include adequate vegetable sources of protein.

7. Limit sodium consumption.

8. Oral birth control pills: When young women begin taking estrogen medications, especially when they are still in their teen years, it limits their time in establishing peak bone mass by "tricking" the body into an earlier skeletal maturity. It is therefore particularly important for this demographic to properly supplement calcium into their diets.

Concerns About Dairy Products

While standard American nutritional guidelines encourage eating at least 3 servings per day of dairy, this advice has come under fire by many experts in nutrition. There is no clear evidence that dairy products are necessary for a healthy diet, especially if an individual eats a carefully balanced diet high in green vegetable sources and nuts/seeds which include calcium along with adequate protein consumption. 

Ideal Calcium Source? Consuming dairy may not be an ideal way to get your calcium because of its net acid effect. Since dairy is acidifying in nature, and since calcium's primary role is to alkalinize, much of the ingested calcium from dairy is used to neutralize the acidifying effect of the dairy on the body.  Therefore, the net calcium amount is often negative and bone calcium loss may occur. That's why greens and nuts actually provide more bioavailable calcium than dairy.

Is Dairy in the US Healthy? The quality of dairy products in the US had drastically changed over the years and (unless Organic non-rBGH) is filled with hormones that have adverse health effects. 

Lactose Intolerance
Many adults lack the enzyme "lactase" (50-60% in some studies) and are unable to tolerate consumption of milk and uncultured milk products. Still others may have a sensitivity to one of the proteins contained in milk products, which has been linked to a variety of issues ranging from intestinal irritations, allergies, and neurological problems. There have been many people who have noticed an improvement in their chronic complaints once they discontinued their intake of dairy products.

Benefits of Dairy
For those who can tolerate milk products without problems, especially cultured ones such as yogurt, Kefir and cheese, there may be many benefits. These are natural sources of beneficial probiotic bacteria, high quality proteins, and fat soluble vitamins like A and D. To make the healthiest choices for dairy products, choose organic options made from whole milk not non-fat or low-fat since they do not contain the vitamins or anti-cancer CLA found in dairy fat. Choose plain yogurt over flavored or fruit varieties, as these may have a high sugar content. This may be especially true of "low fat" flavored choices. (You can always make your own fruit yogurt by adding fresh berries of your choice to plain yogurt.) Regardless, it may be wise to limit your servings of dairy, and still choose high calcium vegetable sources to balance your dietary needs.

 

Please schedule a 30 minute consultation with our Licensed Nutritionist who will take your unique health situation into consideration to recommend the best protocol. (Note: we offer a $25.00 gift certificate with your consult that you can use towards your product purchase!)
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