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IntraCal is the best and most bioavailable calcium supplement available. It's is a highly advanced combination of calcium orotate and magnesium orotate that's easily absorbable and promotes bone and skeletal health.
Dr. Hans Nieper
IntraCal is designed around Dr. Hans Nieper's groundbreaking research!
Dr. Hans Nieper, a physician and experimenter, believed minerals in an orotate form pass through cell membranes easily without breaking apart and reach the areas where it’s needed most. The unique molecular structure of calcium orotate is able to penetrate bones, cartilage, and other tissue to act as a superior mineral transporter.
Dr. Hans Nieper’s explanations rely heavily on a theory called "fixed pore mechanism," which suggests attaching a carrier molecule, Orotic Acid (B-13), to the compound being transported. This research has inspired the creation of mineral chelates called orotic acid chelates (or orotates) which offer a 20-fold increase in mineral utilization.
Dr. Nieper often combined magnesium orotate with calcium orotate to achieve optimal effect. Magnesium orotate acts as a "transporter" to help push calcium more efficiently through your cells so it can reach bones, brain, and the cardiovascular system. Magnesium promotes the proper absorption of calcium by your bones and is vitally important for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Your bones and teeth give your body structure, protect your organs, anchor your muscles, and much more. Getting enough calcium, along with physical activity and weight training, helps your body build strong bones, promotes normal bone mass, and increases your likelihood of experiencing good health.
Most calcium goes to bones and teeth and a small but necessary amount plays an important role in other functions such as nerve transmission and muscular function. Adequate calcium supports cardiovascular health and normal blood pressure.
Calcium is one of the major elements used in maintaining your blood's pH levels and promotes an alkaline state to encourage good health.
Calcium is available in food but if your diet isn't always perfectly balanced, you might not be getting all the calcium you need. An effective and high quality calcium supplement like IntraCal bridges the gap between your body's calcium needs and your dietary calcium intake.
Are you at or approaching middle age? Do you have other health concerns that require you to be more vigilant about your calcium intake? Are you pregnant or nursing? There are many common situations where adequate calcium is absolutely vital.
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1. How does calcium orotate differ from other forms of calcium? It's estimated that just 9% of traditional calcium supplements are absorbed, meaning 91% is flushed away! IntraCal is different because it’s highly absorbable! IntraCal contains calcium orotate and can penetrate into bones, cartilage, and other tissue more effectively than other forms of calcium to promote skeletal calcification.
2. How much calcium do I need? In general, adults and teenagers can take 800 to 1500 milligrams (mg) per day. Women who are pregnant and breast-feeding need more calcium, up to 1200 mg per day. Children ages 4 to 10 should take 800 mg per day. For calcium deficiency, servings vary according to individual need.
3. What's the best ratio of magnesium and calcium? Calcium and magnesium is a dynamic duo that helps bone health and the nervous system. Magnesium keeps too much calcium from entering the nerve cell, overloading the system and hyper-activating the nerve. Without magnesium, the nerves become over-activated, over-contracted and tense. To promote good absorption, IntraCal provides roughly a 1:1 ratio of calcium orotate and magnesium orotate.
Take 2 capsules 3 times daily or as recommended by your healthcare provider.
Keep out of reach of children. Consult your healthcare provider if pregnant, nursing, or for any additional concerns.
History shows that components of the calcium mineral were used as far back as 975 AD. These ancients used calcium in various medical applications, such as setting broken bones back into place. Calcium was also known by the first century Romans, who named it calx, a Latin word related to lime. It was not until the early 1800's that it was separated out as an isolated element. This finding occurred in 1808 by Sir Humphrey Davy, an Englishman who separated out the silvery-white powder using electrolysis, a processes that extracts the calcium from lime using a combination of electrical current and mercuric oxide.
Calcium plays a major role in a number of bodily functions, including cardiovascular and skeletal health. Proper amounts of calcium ensure strong hair, teeth and nails. Calcium helps regulate the heart beat, stabilizes the nervous system, and promotes good muscle function. Calcium has an ability to act as a nervous system tonifier and sedative. Calcium also plays a role in reducing food cravings, lowering swelling, increasing mood-enhancement and cognitive function. It can aid in preventing pre-menstrual mood-related disorders and irritability.
You need calcium all throughout your life. It is needed to contract and relax the muscles, to ensure proper nerve function, and is critical for the formation and strength of the bones. As we age, the bones lose the larger amounts of calcium we had in our younger years, causing an increased risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. In general, after the age of 50, it is more challenging to keep the proper amounts of calcium in the bones, and particularly if you are a woman at risk for osteoporosis. Both women and men are at a higher risk for calcium depletion after age 50. Women are especially at risk after the hormonal changes of menopause. Some experts recommend that women begin taking calcium after the age of 35 to prevent this bone loss, as this is the age in which bones tend to naturally lose density. Similarly, women who are pregnant, at any age, should support the pregnancy with adequate calcium orotate supplementation.
Orotates are the mineral salts of a natural substance called orotic acid. It is found in the body and also in dairy products. It is believed that minerals and vitamins in orotate form act as superior transporters throughout the body. When a mineral is in an orotate form, it can pass through cell membranes easily without breaking apart so it can get to where it’s needed most - joints, tissues, and cartilage.
Magnesium promotes the proper absorption of calcium by your bones. Magnesium is also vitally important for a healthy cardiovascular system, for improved blood pressure, and for promoting a relaxed mood. Specifically, magnesium orotate acts as a "transporter" to help push calcium more efficiently through cells so it can reach areas (bones, brain, cardiovascular system) where it’s needed.
Is your diet high in good sources of natural calcium? If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, it is a good idea to supplement with calcium. Other foods high in calcium include figs, dark leafy greens, and broccoli. Try to get at least four servings of calcium-rich vegetables to ensure good amounts of naturally-occurring dietary calcium. In addition, in the modern world we rarely accomplish getting enough dietary calcium, so taking additional supplements is usually a good idea. What is more, if you are a smoker, drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages, drink alcohol regularly, eat heavy amounts of protein or eat processed foods, you will not be getting enough calcium from food alone, as these practices leach the calcium from the body. Additionally, exposure to toxic metals and radiation also increases our calcium needs.
The main indications of calcium deficiency affect the skeletal system. Late-stage calcium deficiency can lead to bone diseases such as osteopenia, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and rickets. In the case of osteomalacia, bones are lacking the ability to mineralize the bone matrix, making the bones soft and flexible. People with this condition may present with bowed legs, sunken or bulging chests as well as hyper-mobile joints. Osteoporosis is another risk and classified as an extreme reduction in bone mass to the point where the body is not sufficiently supported by the bones, making it susceptible to breakage.
Extreme calcium deficiency can lead to humped spines, scoliosis, rounded shoulders and a reduction in overall height. More minor indications of calcium deficiency may lead to insomnia, muscle pain, involuntary muscular contractions, PMS and high blood pressure. Women with low calcium levels have also been shown to have more premature births, as well as increased chances of developing colon and breast cancer. Indications of calcium deficiency may also include irregular heart beat, poor appetite, lethargy, numbness and tingling in the fingers and convulsions.
Calcium is important for pregnant women as it contributes to the development of the baby's bones and teeth. Pregnant women need more calcium that most women, at least 1200-1500 mg calcium orotate with magnesium orotate per day, but possibly more. It is also suggested to use vitamin D3 which helps the body utilize calcium.
If a woman is is a vegan or vegetarian and pregnant, it is important to supplement with calcium at a daily serving of calcium orotate of at least 1200-1500 mg daily. Many vegetarian diets have less protein in them, which in turn leads to less leaching of bodily calcium in the process of digesting heavy proteins.
If you have taken too much calcium, it is not uncommon to experience severe digestive upset, oral dryness, headache, strong thirst, loss of hunger impulse, depression, a metallic taste in the mouth, as well as extreme lethargy and weakness. You should consult your healthcare professional should you experience any of the above indications of too much calcium.
Excessively high levels of synthetic or low quality forms of calcium can lead to a blood disorder known as hypercalcemia. Excess calcium can greatly impair kidney function and even halt the body's natural ability to absorb other trace and essential minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorus. That said, this disease rarely comes from excess calcium in foods or calcium orotate supplements, and is more often an outcome of individuals suffering from hyperparathyroidism, cancer or high servings of vitamin D.
The correlation between calcium supplementation and kidney stones is a complex one, but it can be said that additional high quality calcium orotate intake can lower risks for kidney stones. Large research studies have shown that daily calcium supplementation above 850 mg lowered the rate of kidney stones. Other factors show that increasing the amounts of water we drink will also reduce the incidence of kidney stones. That said, we should be aware of the preliminary research that does link kidney stones and excess calcium. While it has been shown that dietary calcium can lower the rate of kidney stones in the body, research shows evidence that forms of supplemental calcium may increase kidney stones. Why is this?
Researchers believe it is related to a link between food-based calcium and oxalates, and the organic ability to bind these two together in the intestines. The women in the studies linking kidney stones to calcium supplementation were oftentimes not taking their supplements with meals and using low quality calcium supplements. Without the combination to oxalates, calcium alone will have to be eliminated in the urine, and thus lead to more kidney stones. The good news is that this can remedied by taking calcium with food. This will allow the calcium to bind to the natural oxalates present in the meal. The conclusion is that large amounts of dietary calcium lowers the risk of kidney stones, and that supplementing with quality calcium orotate in the right way (i.e. with calcium and oxalate-rich foods) will not lead to increased risk for kidney stones.
Some foods prohibit calcium absorption as they hold calcium-binding components known as oxalates or phytates. These components restrict calcium absorption, and even though these foods may contain calcium, it is not bio-available (cannot be assimilated by the body). Principle foods that are high in oxalates that block calcium include rice, cocoa, spinach and wheat bran. More importantly, calcium is leached from the body when we consume excess salt, pasteurized milk, caffeine and animal proteins. Grains can also have this effect on calcium absorption. High fibre foods like wheat bran hold high amounts phytates and have a significant inhibiting effect on calcium in the body. Similarly, most of the negative consequences of eating wheat bran are outweighed by the positive effects, and should only be avoided in high amounts.
Even though spinach contains good amounts of calcium, it is also high in oxalates that bind the calcium. That said, most nutritionists agree that the benefits of eating spinach far outweigh the downsides.
The research is still foggy on whether sodas and other carbonated drinks leach calcium from the bones. It seems that the sugar content may be worse than the carbon dioxide itself. Caffeine also acts as a calcium blocker, and may do more harm than the carbonation. A 2001 study from Creighton University found that soda-drinkers did lose large amounts of calcium after consuming the beverage, although this, again, may be from both the caffeine and sugar content and not the fizzy-ness. What is more, it has also been shown that decaffeinated sodas do not have the same effect of calcium-leaching.
Another report from Tufts University in Boston found that the fizzyness in soda pop was indeed a problem in terms of calcium-leaching. Their research on a sampling of 1,413 women found that regular soda drinkers had significantly lower bone densities than women who only had a soda once a month. Other carbonated drinks did not have the same effect, again, leading us to believe that the problem could also be connected to the sugar/caffeine content, in addition to, or in place of the soda's carbonation. Researchers from the study believe that it could also be linked to the high amounts of phosphoric acid in colas. The body has to deal with extremely high amounts of acid when we drink these colas, and must counteract it with its own source of hydrogen ions which come from both calcium and magnesium. If these minerals are not readily available in the blood, the body will suck the calcium from our bones, a dangerous fact that may lead to imbalances in bone health overtime.
Individuals with a congenital heart defect may have a decreased ability to cycle calcium. Research shows that calcium is critical for the maintenance of cardiac function. As our heart beats it releases calcium molecules from an internal calcium storage pool into the muscles of the heart, which in turn, causes the important muscle to contract. Again, as the heart muscles relax, it is also the result of calcium's action in the structures of the heart. In essence, it is calcium that promotes our heartbeat. If the heart has a defect that causes it not to perform this process naturally, it may result to draining calcium from the blood and bones, and in this sense, "drain the body of calcium."
Many Western healthcare practitioners offer antacids to their patients as a form of calcium supplementation, in addition to their temporary affects of remedying heartburn and digestive upset. Sadly for these individuals, antacids often contain a chemical form of calcium that is not bio-available for the human body. Moreover, they stop the activity of pepsin, a natural stomach acid that is needed in digestion. Also, antacids contain a form of calcium that can lead to an increased production of acid later, causing the stomach to release even more acid to make up for the earlier false acid neutralization that it provoked. In this sense, the body has more acid to deal with, and more calcium needs in the long run. The additional calcium may be available in the blood, but more often and over time, the body will leach the calcium from other sources, making antacids an unhelpful bandaid for a deeper digestive disturbance, and further contributing to calcium deficiencies. Perhaps most important to our understanding regarding antacids and calcium absorption is the fact that calcium requires acid for proper utlization. Studies have shown that people with osteoporosis who take antacids actually have more broken bones than women not taking the supplement. Another study on almost 10,000 women showed similar results linking antacids and poor calcium absorption. The bottom line is that the form of calcium in antacids is hard to absorb. If you take an antacid with foods that are high in calcium, the body is less able to absorb the calcium from the food.
Statins are pharmaceutical drugs that are used to lower cholesterol, relax the blood vessels and reduce strain on the heart (initially). It is hoped that use of statins can reduce a patients' chances of a heart attack. Essential they are calcium channel blockers that prevent calcium from entering the heart through a process of relaxing the muscle cells around the heart. Examples of statins include Amlodipine, Diltiazem, Felodipine, Isradipine, Nicardipine, Nifedipine, Nisoldipine and Verapamil. Research shows that calcium supplementation can reduce the effectiveness of calcium-channel blocker drugs like statins. Consult with your doctor before supplementing with calcium if you are taking statins.
It is not enough to just take a calcium supplement. It is important to understand how to get the best benefits out of your mineral-investments. For this reason, we should be aware of how we take the calcium. For best absorption, supplements should be divided up, and taken two the three times per day. They should be taken 30 minutes to an hour after consuming food, and should not be taken before bed, or on an empty stomach, as this may cause heartburn or indigestion. There are foods that will help increase the absorption of calcium. These include proteins, foods with lactose, such as cheese, yogurt and organic raw goat milk or cows milk, as well as green vegetables such as kale, collards, mustard greens, broccoli, turnip greens, and bok choy.
In general, try drinking a glass (8 ounces) of purified water with the supplement, so as not to choke on the dryness of the capsule or pill. Try to take the calcium supplements at the same time(s) every day, and as much as possible, couple your supplementation with a diet high in calcium-rich foods. This will greater enhance absorption. The best supplement sources of calcium are calcium orotate, Calcium Hydroxyapatite, calcium aspartate or calcium arginate. Avoid supplements containing calcium carbonate.
Calcium is a necessary supplement for women who are having children, as well as women in the childbearing time of life who plan on getting pregnant. As the mother's body must prepare to create the child, she will have increased calcium demands that will be leached from her own body. A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association shows evidence that boosting calcium intake during childbearing periods of life helps mothers to not only supply their babies with the necessary calcium, but can also help to stabilize blood pressure in pregnant women. Pregnancy-related high blood pressure is a common and serious risk for women and their babies, and taking supplemental forms of calcium orotate can help reduce these risks.
Vitamin D is a critical component for calcium absorption. Research shows that it increases the body's ability to absorb calcium by up to 80%. Adults need around 400 IUs of vitamin D per day, and while some of this comes from direct exposure to sunlight, many of us need to supplement, particularly given the risks associated with overexposure to sunshine. And while many foods offer vitamin D, most of us are lacking in this vital vitamin. A good source of vitamin D is D3 serum.
Many prescriptions drugs disrupt the natural mineral balance in our system. Any artificial chemical in the body will change the mineral ratios, and usually require the production of excess stomach acid to break them down. Specifically, there are some drugs that are notorious for lowering calcium levels. Antidepressant drugs such as Amitriptyline, Imipramine, Elavil, Paxil, Desipramine, Nortriptyline, Serzone, Prozac, Zoloft, Pamelor and Trazodone may lower both calcium and magnesium in the body. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) as well as estrogen compounds such as Premarin, Estratest and Prem-pro reduce calcium.
Aspirin. Ibuprofen and Advil all deplete calcium. Corticosteroids deplete calcium. These drugs are used for many diseases such as dermatitis, aslluna, autoimmune diseases and allergic disorders. Examples include costisone, dexamalhasone, prednisone, triamci-nolonc, azulfidine and hydrocortisone. Many drugs used to treat heart disease reduce calcium. Used over the long term, diuretics and any drugs used in the treatment of edema, congestive heart failure, renal or liver disease will deplete calcium. This includes furosemide, spironolactone, Dyazide, Bumex, chlorthalidone and humelanide. If you are taking any of these it is highly recommended to take extra calcium and magnesium in the orotate form.
As a woman moves into menopause, her hormonal balances begin to change, and she begins to produce much less estrogen. Moreover, scientific research confirms that menopause leads to bone loss and a decreased ability to absorb calcium. Annual decreases in bone mass in postmenopausal women range from 3%-5% yearly. Research confirms that this lack of estrogen can be directly linked to increased risks for bone loss and even osteoporosis.
Similarly, just as calcium is depleted by the natural process of menopause, the indications of menopause (hot flashes, irritation, dryness), can also be improved through regular intake of quality calcium. Studies show that a high-calcium diet and supplementing with calcium can prevent the bone thinning so characteristic of women who are post-menopausal.
When the body goes through an intense therapy such as the radiation involved in chemotherapy for cancer treatment, many of the minerals in the body are depleted, and it appears that calcium is particularly hard-hit.
The body can also undergo radiation exposure via x-ray imaging, living near a nuclear power plant, or even through the mild radiation waves in microwaves, cell phones and other electronics. Radiation damages the DNA in the cells of the body, directly lowering existing calcium levels. For this reason, if undergoing cancer-treatments involving radiation, or if you have been exposed to high levels of radiation through other means, you may want to supplement with calcium orotate. In the case of cancer patients, the University of Maryland recommends eating more foods high in calcium like almonds, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens and sea vegetables. They also recommend taking a multivitamin containing the trace minerals magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium.
It appears that the micro-vortex enteric coating is some type of enrobing process that Nieper either pioneered or borrowed from the drug companies. It is used to enrobe the mixture that is going to be encapsulated as opposed to having to go through the heat and pressure of the tabletting process. There are several companies that are promoting this term, always in reference to Nieper. The stated reason is that the enteric coating prevents ionization in the stomach but then dissolves in the alkaline pH of the duodenum. The claims are that this greatly promotes the amount of mineral orotate that is ultimately received by the cell. However, we can't find any type of documentation that compares this method with taking calcium or magnesium orotate that is not coated on an empty stomach. Basically, we think that the coating is toxic to the body. This argument seems to be analogous to the one with enzymes, namely Wobenzym vs. everyone else. The real question is the following: are all of the synthetic ingredients worth a little better absorption?
Also, beware of the term "enteric coated". An enteric coating is one that is placed over the tablet or granules to protect its contents. However, unless it says "pH sensitive" before enteric coating, the coating may be a simple protein or even vegetable shellac coating. Protein coatings do work to a limited degree, but can be digested by stomach acid, thus exposing enzymes to premature destruction. Sometimes, the protein coat survives the stomach, and unfortunately the duodenum as well, allowing the tablet to pass through the system undigested.
The Brewer Library is the official record keeper of Nieper’s work. They have no record of a clinical study that was published regarding the use of the enteric coating, and they are not aware that any testing had ever been performed on the use of non-coated orotates. In fact, they stated that none of the orotate delivery theory really has any hard empirical data to substantiate it. It is all based on what Nieper wrote and his clinical observations.
A representative at the Brewer Library said that she actually uses non-coated magnesium orotate for herself and recommends it to her friends. She stated that her friend actually had an erythrocyte analysis performed after taking 1 tsp. 3X daily of non-enteric coated orotate and found that her magnesium levels increased substantially. As far as she was aware, that is the only absorption test that has been performed using the non-coated version. She stated that Kohler may have done some follow up work, but apparently, no one really knows the answer because it really hasn't been studied.
We have used both versions clinically and have had a greater response rate with the non-enteric version in IntraCal as well as an increase in personal testimonials.
There are a few helpful facts that we must know in order to understand how the recommended daily value is calculated. The first is that the DV for most adults is 1000 milligrams of elemental calcium per day. The second is to understand that the key term is the word "elemental." This describes the calcium separately from whatever it may be bonded to in your supplement. It is a term that is used regarding the daily value because it can vary depending on the substance to which calcium, or any other mineral for that matter, is bonded. An important thing to remember is that the DV will always be calculated based on this weight regardless of the total weight of the type of calcium compound. In this case it shows us that the total weight of calcium orotate (calcium plus orotic acid) is 790 milligrams and that amount contains roughly 90 milligrams of elemental calcium, 90 mgs. elemental calcium/1000 mgs. calcium = 9%. It is important to note that there is no DV for calcium orotate or for any other specific form of calcium, i.e. calcium carbonate, calcium aspartate, calcium ascorbate, etc., but only for elemental calcium.
The part of this equation that is frequently overlooked and that explains why IntraCal is made using a form of calcium containing a relatively low elemental weight is absorption and utilization in the body. This is crucial because dietary supplements are taken for the positive influence they may have on the body and not simply for the exercise of swallowing a pill. Calcium orotate is generally considered to be the most absorbable form of calcium available with an estimate of approximately 90% absorption rate from the GI tract. Compare this to an estimated rate of 5-50% for many of the more common forms of supplemental calcium, and it is easy to see that simply taking more elemental calcium may not be the answer to supplying the body with adequate usable calcium. This may truly be a case of less is more; that is, of course, as long as the less is the more efficient and bio-available form that your body can readily use.