We have all heard about how important calcium is for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and nerves. We also may be aware of the role calcium plays in inter-cellular communications. But many are unaware that the common American daily diet is not offering enough calcium. Sadly, this calcium that is lacking from our diet is then slowly leached from the bones, creating a plethora of joint and bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis.
Many people realize that they need more calcium, and make the conscious choice to take calcium supplements, but are still unaware of the different forms of calcium being sold on the market today.
8 Common Types of Calcium
Which forms of supplements are actually being absorbed by the body? Which types of calcium actually make their way into penetrating the cellular membrane? Hopefully, this will help you understand the different types of calcium currently on the supplemental market.
1. Calcium Carbonate
A common form of calcium supplement, calcium carbonate is an alkaline-based compound found in rocks, limestone, shells of marine animals, pearls, eggshells, and snails. It holds one of the highest concentrations of elemental calcium (35 to 40 percent), but is not high in bioavailability and requires the production of extra stomach acid to be absorbed. Bioavailability refers to the amount of calcium in the supplement that can be assimilated by the digestive system, and ultimately used for cellular activity and health benefits. Calcium carbonate is currently one of the cheapest and most prevalent forms of calcium supplements sold today. Be sure to avoid this form and check all of your multivitamin / mineral supplement labels.
2. Calcium Citrate
Differing from the alkaline qualities of calcium carbonate, calcium citrate has an acidic base. This acidity requires less production of natural stomach acids, allowing this type of calcium to be better absorbed than the carbonate form. It does, however, have less elemental calcium concentration (20 percent), and again, a low bioavailability.
3. Oyster Shell Calcium
While it may seem like a more natural form of calcium, and thus higher in absorbable content, oyster shell calcium, as well as dolomite and bone meal, are difficult to quality-control and have been found to show levels of lead toxins. In general, these "natural forms" of calcium should be avoided.
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4. Calcium Gluconate
This form of calcium has very low levels of actual calcium concentration. You would need to take very large amounts of the supplement to reach your daily calcium requirement, and the bioavailability is still not certain.
5. Calcium Lactate
The form of calcium is found in foods such as aged cheese and baking powder. It has a medium level of bioavailability in the body because it can be absorbed at various pHs.
6. Calcium Phosphate
This is the main form of calcium coming from cow's milk. Tooth enamel and bones are very high in calcium phosphate, although supplemental forms have not shown to be readily bioavailable.
7. Calcium Citrate Malate
This water-soluble form of calcium is created through mixing malic acid with the calcium salt found in citric acid. This combination has higher levels of bioavailability than other forms, as it is water-soluble and does show some evidence of being dissolved into cell membranes.
8. Calcium Orotate
The most effective form of calcium supplement, calcium orotate is created as a mineral salt of orotic acid. Calcium orotates are found in small amounts in all living beings. It is a primary mineral for the creation of bones and teeth, and fosters cellular communications. In my experience, this is by far the best calcium supplement to use for supporting calcium levels, and the product I recommend is IntraCal™. Both plants and animals use orotates to create DNA and RNA. Extensive scientific research done by Hans A. Nieper, M.D. has found that orotates can penetrate cell membranes, enabling the effective delivery of the calcium ion to the inner-most layers of the cellular mitochondria and nucleus.
Calcium has been found to be beneficial in:
- Maintaining bone health
- Maintaining teeth health
- Preventing osteoporosis
- Reduction of muscle cramps
- Reduction in discomfort from spinal concerns
- Promoting normal sleep patterns
- Increasing the body's ability to metabolize iron
- Overall stress reduction and mental alertness
Calcium orotates contain many properties that can help protect you and your health while offering your cells the most readily absorbable form of calcium on the market today.
Have you tried calcium? What form do you take? Share in the comments below!
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.