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Walk into any health shop and the amount of supplements available may seem overwhelming. When you’re in the market for boosting your calcium, how do you know you are choosing a calcium supplement that is right for you?
There are no hard and fast rules about what the right calcium supplement is for you. You only find out by trying out a few. Your doctor may also be able to help as well. However, if choosing a calcium supplement out of so many choices, read on and see if the following pointers help.
Speak to your doctor
Before doing anything else, speak to your GP about what he or she advises. You may be on some medication (like, blood pressure medications, synthetic thyroid hormones, bisphosphonates, antibiotics and calcium channel blockers) that calcium supplements could interfere with. So get an expert’s opinion first.
Chewy, liquid or tablet?
Don’t like swallowing pills? Calcium supplements come in a variety of forms. Shop around to see calcium supplements in chewable form, liquid form, capsules or tablets.
Some people experience side effects when they take certain types of calcium supplements. This is not very common but does exist. Normally, they are very mild – you may feel a bit gassy, constipated or bloated after a course of calcium. Try something else, try different doses, try a different form. Most people reduce their side effects by trying different supplements and lowering the dose before slowly increasing it.
The amount of elemental calcium
This is very important, and you may need the help of a dietician or a GP who can work out how much calcium you need in your daily diet. Most people need around 1000mg of calcium a day. Work out on the label of your chosen calcium product, and see how much calcium your product contains per serving.
The body absorbs calcium more effectively in small amounts. All varieties of calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less) at mealtimes. Calcium citrate is absorbed equally well when taken with or without food and is a form recommended for individuals with low stomach acid (more common in people over 50 or taking acid blockers), inflammatory bowel disease or absorption disorders.