It is important to look at the elemental calcium content while purchasing the calcium supplements instead of looking at the entire content. The calcium supplement that contains 500mg of calcium carbonate consists of 200mg of elemental form of calcium. It means that the dietary supplement will provide only 200mg of calcium and not 500mg of calcium.
Features of calcium nitrate
Taking this form of calcium supplement allows the absorption of calcium in the acidic environment. Calcium citrate is the best form of supplement for the calcium to get absorbed properly. It can be absorbed even in the absence of the extra stomach acid and hence it can be taken at any time of the day. Calcium citrate is absorbed properly even in the empty stomach.
The calcium content of this supplement will be lesser per tablet and hence it has to be taken more number of times in a day to meet the requirements of the body. A 500mg calcium citrate tablet is found to be providing on average of 105mg of element calcium. Calcium citrate is a small and capsule like supplement. If a person is suffering from acid in the stomach, then calcium citrate has to be avoided.
Features of calcium carbonate
The calcium from this form of supplement is absorbed in the alkaline environment. The acid in the stomach has to be more for absorbing this form of calcium. Hence, calcium carbonate supplements are taken just after the meals or along with a glass of orange juice. This form of calcium supplement is mostly predominant in the market and it provides more of elemental calcium than calcium citrate. Hence, more number of tablets has to be taken for the requirement. This tablet is available in large size making it difficult to be swallowed by some people.
Calcium needs of the body
The everyday requirement of the calcium by the body exists in the range of 1000mg to 1300mg for adults. So, it is necessary to estimate the food intake in-order to supplement the required calcium. If the person is not able to take calcium through these foods, then dietary supplements have to be taken.
Calcium carbonate supplements have concentrated form of calcium and a smaller tablet consists of same quantity of calcium than using calcium citrate. Calcium citrate is a bulk form of calcium. Each supplement will have half the quantity of calcium than the equal amount of calcium carbonate tablets. Calcium carbonate is present in the antacid supplements like tums and is inexpensive. Calcium citrate is an expensive form of calcium supplement that is usually a better option for elder people who have less acid in the stomach.
It is always better to take low dose of calcium supplements around 500 to 600mg than the larger dose as the small tablets can get broken down easily and get absorbed rapidly than the bigger tablets. Calcium absorption is better done in the presence of vitamin D. So, it is also important to see that sufficient quantities of vitamin D is also essential for the body and it has to be provided through diet or supplements or from exposure to the sun.