Q: What is the best calcium supplement to use?
A: Some days we can't get the recommended requirements for calcium from our diets and some women at a specific age and life stage would benefit from taking a calcium supplement. But when it comes to choosing a supplement, which calcium configuration is the best?
Calcium supplements come in two main forms: carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is the most commonly available form and it is less expensive. However, in order to be well absorbed, the carbonate form must be taken with food. This differs to calcium citrate which is equally as effective at being absorbed regardless of food intake. So if you are an individual with reduced levels of stomach acid, inflammatory bowl disease or absorption disorders, I recommend taking calcium citrate in lieu of calcium carbonate.
The absorption of calcium is best when you do not exceed 500 milligrams at one time. So to get the optimal bioavailability of your calcium, spread out your intake throughout the day. Some people who take calcium supplements experience side effects such as gas, bloating or constipation. If you experience one or all of these symptoms, try taking smaller amounts of calcium, take supplements with meals or change the type you are using.