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The best calcium for osteoporosis treatment and prevention is the mineral that enters our bones
rather than our arteries and soft tissue. Research suggests that calcium carbonate is slightly more
effective than calcium citrate if taken with meals.
Finding the best supplements for osteoporosis treatment and prevention can be a daunting task.
One glance at the many brands and formulas in a health food store is enough to send a person
running. But it is important to find the best calcium for our osteoporosis treatment program
because we will be taking the supplement for many years. And even more importantly, calcium
without the right levels of vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K may migrate to our arteries rather
than our bones. Here are a few guidelines to help us make the right choice.
CALCIUM CARBONATE is the most commonly used source of supplemental calcium. Eight-five
percent of all bone building supplements sold in the US are made from calcium carbonate-
including antacids such as TUMS. It is less expensive than other forms of the mineral and is
widely available in tablets, capsules and chewables. Unrefined calcium carbonate appears in
dietary supplements such as bone meal, oyster shell, limestone, and dolomite (clay).
Calcium carbonate provides about 40% elemental calcium of which about 26% is absorbable. A
calcium carbonate supplement with 500 mg of elemental calcium provides 130mg of absorbable
mineral when taken with meals. Caution must be taken regarding the quality of the supplement,
however. Depending on how the tablet is manufactured, some carbonate pills have been found to
disintegrate and dissolve improperly which could interfere with absorption. Solubility can be
evaluated by putting a tablet in a half cup of vinegar and stirring occasionally. After half an hour
there should be no undissolved chunks of tablet remaining at the bottom of the glass.
CHELATED CALCIUM: Research suggests that many North Americans lack adequate stomach
acid to break down and absorb sufficient calcium. Chelated calcium uses an organic acid to bind
the mineral (citrate, citrate malate, lactate, gluconate, aspartate, or orotate acid) in order to
facilitate absorption. But chelated calcium offers both advantages and disadvantages compared
with calcium carbonate.
Advantages: Certain forms of chelated calcium (calcium citrate and calcium citrate malate) are
widely thought to be significantly better absorbed and more effective for osteoporosis treatment
than calcium carbonate. However, while some studies support this belief others do not. The
discrepancy may be due to the particular calcium carbonate products used, as some calcium
carbonate formulations dissolve better than others.
Disadvantages: Chelated calcium is much more expensive and bulkier than calcium carbonate-
with the result that pills are larger than other compounds and more pills must be taken to get
sufficient calcium. Five or six large capsules may be required to achieve the desired intake. Many
people find this far too cumbersome.
CALCIUM CITRATE: is a combination of calcium and citric acid. Because stomach acids are
needed for calcium to be absorbed by the body, citric acid (from fruits) provides an acidic
environment for improved calcium absorption.
KREBS CYCLE: Compounds such as fumarate, malate, succinate and aspartate (called Krebs
cycle intermediates) can be used in combination with calcium citrate to help increase the body's
absorption of calcium and other minerals.
CALCIUM CITRATE MALATE (CCM) is composed of the mineral and two organic fruit acids (citric
acid from citrus fruits and malic acid from apples) both of which help to increase absorption.
Because of their similarity in both name and structure, CCM can be confused with calcium
citrate...but they are not the same. Several studies on post-menopausal women over the age of 55
found that CCM resulted in 40% less bone loss when compared to a diet with ordinary calcium
CORAL CALCIUM Coral calcium is derived from dead sea coral-as live coral is protected by
international law. It supplies calcium, magnesium and numerous other essential trace minerals
that support body processes but there is limited data available on solubility and absorbability of
this mineral source. There is little evidence at this time that coral is superior to other forms of
calcium and there is also concern about unacceptable levels of lead in these supplements.
MICROCRYSTALLINE HYDROXYAPATITE (MCHC or bone meal) MCHC, a variation on bone
meal made from cow bones, has attracted attention because of studies reporting increases in
bone mass in people with certain conditions and better effects on bone than other supplements.
Similar positive studies exist using CCM but unlike CCM, MCHC has only occasionally been
compared with other supplements. The research that does exist, suggests that MCHC fares poorly
in terms of solubility and absorption.
ANTACIDS Some doctors have expressed a concern that antacids that contain calcium (such as
Tums) interfere with the body's absorption of the mineral. However, this is not the case. Calcium
carbonate, which is the principal ingredient in Tums, provides significant though not optimal
absorption. Other forms of the mineral that might be more bio-available, such as calcium citrate,
also act as antacids. CCM, which is thought to have the best bio-availability is itself an antacid
despite the fact it is used almost exclusively as a source of calcium.
For information on bone building supplements that provide superior quality at an attractive price,
Darlene Varaleau is a lawyer and business person by profession. But soon after entering
menopause she was shocked to learn from her doctor that she had lost 15% bone mass in two
years and had developed osteopenia in one hip. Rather than continue with prescription medication
for the rest of her life (and she expects to live a long time) Darlene created
http://tiensshop.com/p124-Tiens-Calcium-Treasure-Tablets.html to explore natural remedies for
osteoporosis. The website provides osteoporosis treatment guidelines for the use of strontium
citrate and makes recommendations on the best calcium for osteoporosis treatment and
prevention. She will soon be exploring the use of progesterone as part of her natural remedies for
osteoporosis. She loves getting suggestions for improving the website, so please drop by for a
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