Calcium Part 2
Last week we left off with Chelated calcium of which many tablets are being sold for antacid as well as a preventive aid in bone deterioration. Calcium Fenoprofen, an anti-inflammatory, needs to be mentioned too, and is sold under the name of Nalfon. This is an anti-arthritic agent and very much in demand.
This form of calcium can cause gastrointestinal problems and should be taken two hours before meals, as food will impair its effects. Some physicians recommend taking an antacid with calcium fenoprofen to reduce gastrointestinal upset.
Organic chelated calcium is the newest of the calcium supplement line and includes: calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, calcium ascorbate, and calcium orotate as well as a host of others. These organic chelated calcium products have a faster absorption rate of 25%, 30%, 80% and 90% respectively. They also offer a distinct advantage in that the chelating process binds with calcium and other nutritional factors of your choice to enhance your particular nutritional needs.
For example: calcium ascorbate provides vitamin C with the calcium. Overall it is important to know that calcium will be absorbed better when it is in some combination with vitamins A, B (complex), C, D, F, iron and manganese.
Recall that magnesium is very important and requires always a 2:1 ratio (2 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium) for absorption. Some trace amounts of phosphorus are indicated also. If you are a multiple vitamin and/or mineral supplement user, you may take your calcium with the above, or consider using a chelated calcium. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium is 360 mg for children, and 1200 mg for pregnant and lactating women. The RDA for men and women is 800 mg a day. Many researchers think that this allowance is inadequate and should be increased. This leads one to consult with a nutritional-oriented physician and/or a qualified nutritionist. Keep in mind though that many physicians and experts in the field have different opinions, and the end result is that you have to be in touch with your own body. Many people start with a simple dosage of balanced 2:1 and increase their dosage until their symptoms disappear. Symptoms of calcium deficiency may include: leg cramps, low back pain, poor teeth, menstrual cramps and PMS (Pre-Menstrual’ Syndrome). Some just take supplements at the RDA.
To understand exactly how much calcium is in the tablet you are taking is important, as labels may be misleading. For example: elemental weight is stated on some labels and is easy to understand. In “Elemental Calcium 500 mg” what you are getting is exactly 500 mg of calcium. Some other labels may read “Calcium (Gluconate) 1000 mg”. This is a chelated label and the (Gluconate) is the source of the calcium, and the amount shown, 1000 mg is the total calcium you are receiving. However, to continue our examples of label reading, if the bottle listed “Calcium Gluconate 100 mg” you would be getting only a fraction of the calcium since the entire calcium gluconate represents the weight of the calcium with the gluconate acid, the chelating binder. Look for labels that list “elemental” weights, or the parenthesis after the element.
The high absorption rate of organic chelated calcium supplements such as calcium orotate (90% absorption) will probably be shown with a lower percentage of calcium than what the RDA may recommend. This is called the “efficiency” ratio, in than a 90% absorption ratio, less calcium is needed, and the manufacturer is taking the guess work out for you. Read the labels carefully.
Lastly, calcium absorption is decreased by nutritional factors such as phosphorus, phytic acid and oxalate rich foods. Take your calcium supplements in between meals, or at least two hours before or two hours after a meal. Do not eat any spinach, beet greens, rhubarb, celery, peanuts, blueberries, collards, grapes, kale, okra, strawberries, summer squash, tea, green peppers, raspberries, baked and green beans with the calcium supplement. Other foods that would greatly reduce calcium absorption if taken with the calcium supplements include: oatmeal, whole grain cereals, chocolate, dried fruit, canned fish, game, nuts, organ meats and peanut butter. The taking of calcium supplements is, again, best taken two hours before meals or two hours after. Save half of the daily allowance for bedtime. You will sleep better too with all the calcium in the body.
Corticosteroid drugs will reduce absorption, and do not take more than 500 to 800 IU of vitamin D with any calcium supplement, unless prescribed by a physician.
Confused at this point? As for me, at point I use “LIFETIME” Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate-one tablespoon mixed in a glass of milk. This product is one of the few, if any, that has the proper ratio of 2:1. You may find more information at http://www.lifetimevitamins.com/
Copyright: 2009, Back2theLand.com, Mark Steel