Among vitamin supplements and mineral supplements, calcium is one of the most popular. If you typically take a calcium supplement on an empty stomach, citrate is the way to go. With a meal, there is no difference, even for people who take drugs for acid reflux like Tagamet or Prilosec (which reduce stomach acid).
What’s more, calcium carbonate is cheaper and less bulky. To get the same amount of calcium, you need to take twice as much citrate as carbonate. Shoot for no more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of calcium — 1,000 milligrams a day from food and supplements combined for women 50 and under and men 70 and under, and 1,200 mg a day for people older than that.
And there’s no point in taking more than 500 mg of calcium at a time, since the intestinal tract can’t efficiently absorb more than that in a single dose, says Robert Recker, director of the Osteoporosis Research Center at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
So, is calcium citrate better? The bottom line is that it depends.
- The best evidence shows that calcium supplements are not bad for your heart
- Too much calcium from supplements may increase your risk of dying from prostate cancer
- Can Calcium Lower the Risk of Colorectal Cancer from Eating Cured Meats?
- How much calcium and Vitamin D do you need?
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