It is often necessary to use calcium supplements to improve the absorption of this nutrient. A low calcium intake can cause early osteoporosis, especially in women reaching the menopausal stage.
Generally speaking, calcium assimilation is associated with vitamin D levels. For this reason, it is important to keep the values of both nutrients within the recommended limits. Still, there are foods that can interfere with the absorption of dietary calcium. For example, fiber.
To ensure the right amount of this mineral, it is a good idea to seek nutritional help. However, not all supplements are the same, so you need to know which one is right for you according to your needs.
Types of calcium supplements
Calcium carbonate is generally on the market, which does not require a prescription. These are very expensive and easily administered products. Often they are chewable tablets or candies to be taken in a dose of about 200 mg at a time.
Of the prescription products, the most common is calcium citrate. These are more expensive products with a higher percentage of absorption. It is especially suitable for people with low stomach acid levels (which can interfere with the absorption of calcium carbonate).
In addition to these two variants, we can find on the market calcium lactate, calcium phosphate, calcium gluconate. However, these are variants with lower calcium concentrations than those mentioned above.
It is important to opt for a calcium supplement that has the word “purified” on the label. It is also advisable to avoid products made from raw oyster shells, bone meal or dolomite. The latter, in fact, may contain traces of heavy metals.
How to increase calcium consumption?
If you are looking to consume larger doses of calcium, there are a number of tips to keep in mind. First, gradually increase the doses taken. Secondly, it is advisable to distribute this dose throughout the day; in this way you will avoid unwanted effects for the intestine.
At the same time, it is advisable to combine the consumption of calcium with a greater consumption of vitamin D. This is possible through exposure to the sun or by increasing the consumption of eggs and oily fish, or even through the consumption of a supplement rich in this nutrient.
Precautions in case of consumption of calcium supplements
The worst of the side effects resulting from a calcium overdose can be kidney stones. This disorder does not affect everyone, but only predisposed individuals.
Furthermore, excessive calcium intake can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients, such as iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus. For this reason, the recommended daily doses should never be exceeded.
In case of excessive calcium ingestion or if you notice any unwanted effects, the ideal is to increase the consumption of liquids and foods rich in fiber to limit calcium absorption.
Calcium: essential nutrient for bone health
This mineral is directly associated with bone health and functioning. We find it in dairy products and green leafy vegetables, but there are situations in which the food intake is not sufficient.
Guaranteeing the consumption of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day and 3 servings of dairy products reduces the risk of suffering from a deficiency of this nutrient.
Conclusions on calcium supplements
If the intake of dietary calcium is not sufficient, it may become necessary to resort to the use of supplements. Among the variants available on the market it is good to choose one that meets our needs.
However, it is important to increase the dose gradually, in order to prevent the onset of unwanted effects. Finally, we must emphasize the possibility of combining a calcium supplement with a vitamin D supplement to optimize its absorption and bioavailability.
Finally, it is recommended that you consult a doctor or nutritionist before taking any supplement, so that a professional can assess your needs, providing useful dosage guidelines.