Is Calcium Citrate a Better Mineral Supplement than Calcium Carbonate?

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).

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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.


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5 Replies to “Is Calcium Citrate a Better Mineral Supplement than Calcium Carbonate?”

  1. What about Citrical time release calcium? How does taking 2 tabs (totaling 1200 mg Calcium) in the morning with breakfast do for the day? Will that work, since its time release? Then its a once a day thing.

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