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How To Choose A Calcium Supplement?

Everybody knows how important calcium is but how much should we take and what is the best form of calcium?

General guidelines for doses are as follows:

  • Women (up to 45 yrs old) – 800 mg per day
  • Peri-menopause (approx 45 to 50 yrs old)– 1,000 mg per day
  • Post/Menopause (approx. 50 yrs and older) – 1,200 mg per day
  • Men – 800 mg per day

This total can be achieved with a combination of your diet and supplementation.  Please remember that it is not recommended to eat too much dairy.  A lot of people are intolerant to dairy (can cause bloating, gas, mucous, etc).  But you can certainly enjoy other plant sources of calcium such as, green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, turnip greens), broccoli, almonds, fortified rice milk, kelp, hazelnuts, parlsey, chickpeas, dates, etc.

If you feel that you may not be eating enough calcium rich foods then you may want to consider taking a supplement.   But it takes more than just calcium to keep your body and bones healthy.

Look for a supplement that has the following combinations of vitamins and minerals: calcium, magnesium, Boron, and Vitamin D; and if possible even Manganese, Zinc and Vitamin K.  You don’t have to buy all of these separately.  You want to look for a product that ideally has all of them together.  You can check with your local health food store and if you are not sure, then feel free to call us.  We will be happy to help you choosing a good product.

Another important factor to consider is the type of calcium in the supplement.  Some forms of calcium are better absorbed than others.  For example, calcium carbonate is the cheapest form of calcium and extremely hard to break down and therefore absorb. This is also the type of calcium that causes kidney stones.  Please avoid supplements that has calcium carbonate.

The better form of calcium is citrate.  This is why we have included this type of calcium in our Wise Advanced Multi.  Even if you the amount in a capsule is lower, but if it is a citrate, then you probably have an easier time breaking it down and therefore you will be absorbing more of it and getting more benefit.

Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

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