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Many people don't get enough of many minerals and calcium that are essential for healthy bones, teeth, and muscle function. So how do you choose the right calcium supplement from the many available products?
Here are some points to consider:
• Balance your calcium intake with magnesium. If the calcium supplement has 1,000 mg of calcium, it should have about 400-500 mg of magnesium.
• Take calcium with other important bone factor minerals such as boron, zinc and especially vitamin D.
• If you have trouble swallowing pills, try a chewable or liquid calcium supplement.
• Multi-vitamins, especially the 1- or 2-per day types, have very little calcium— Check the serving size. Doses vary, so check to see how many pills you need to get the recommended daily allowance of calcium. You will likely need to take 3 or more pills each day.
Most calcium supplements contain either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. And always take them with food. Calcium carbonate is denser, about 40% calcium than calcium citrate, which is about 25% calcium. That means you'll have to take 2-3 pills of calcium carbonate or 4-5 pills of calcium citrate to get 1,000 mg of calcium a day. If you can manage swallowing more pills, the citrate form is thought to be better absorbed.