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waruna01

calcium carbonate

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Out of 600mg pill containing calcium carbonate, how much calcium is absorbed if 600mg pill is taken with food?

 

Is there a maximum amount of calcium carbonate that can be absorbed by the body at once? i.e should you split your  calcium carbonate into 2 seperate meals if you are taking 2 pills of calcium carbonate per day (600mg each)

 

Compared to calcium carbonate,  what precentage of calcium citrate is absorbed by the body say if you take calcium citrate 600 mg pill compared to a 600mg calcium carbonate pill?

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Calcium carbonate products contain 40% calcium (absorbable calcium). Therefore, a 600 mg product would contain 240 mg calcium.

 

As the amount increases, the percent of calcium absorbed decreases, so yes, it would be best to split calcium carbonate into two doses at different meals. Ideally, doses would be no higher than 500 mg. But absorption would depend on other factors as well -- sufficiency of vitamin D and magnesium, and presence of normal stomach acid. Absorption also decreases with age. Sodium, caffeine, and alcohol intake also decrease absorption. So there is no exact answer to the question of  how much calcium is absorbed. We can say that it is best absorbed if taken with food, preferably in doses not greater than 500 mg.

 

Regarding calcium citrate, it is only 21% calcium, but is much better absorbed than calcium carbonate, does not require the presence of stomach acid (and also does not lower stomach acid as calcium carbonate [Tums] does). However, most of the other conditions apply -- the body can only absorb so much calcium at a time, there must be sufficient magnesium and vitamin D, and absorption decreases with age, and with sodiium, caffeine, and alcohol intake. Again, there is no exact answer regarding absorption, compared to calcium carbonate. We can only say that it is better absorbed.

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"Therefore, a 600 mg product would contain 240 mg calcium"

 

Do you count the 600 mg for the RDA calcium intake or 240 mg for RDA calcium intake if you take calcium carbonate pills? RDA is around 1,000 mg calcium per day. If you count 600, 2 pills would do. If you count 240, then you need to take at least 4 calcium carbonate pills to meet the RDA.

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Check the label -- some brands will list the actual amount of calcium, but not all. If the Supplement Facts state 600 mg calcium, that will be the amount of calcium in the tablet, Some will say "Serving size 2 caplets" and "amount per serving 600 mg." That means each caplet contains 300 mg calcium.

 

If the label does not state the amount of actual calcium, then you must assume that the 600 mg calcium carbonate pill actually contains 240 mg calcium, and to achieve 1000 mg daily, as you say, you will need to take at least 4 pills.

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Spring Valley [Walmart] Calcium plus Vitamin D3

 

This is the brand i'm taking. Can you let me know the actual calcium content and how many pills i need to take for the RDA? This is the Walmart brand.

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This brand states: "Each tablet contains 600 mg of calcium." Therefore, you can be assured of the amount.

 

For adult women 19-50 years (not pregnant or lactating) the RDA is 1000 mg per day.

For women 51-70 years the RDA is 1200 mg per day.

 

For adult men 19-70 years the RDA is 1000 mg per day.

For men 71+ years the RDA is 1200 mg per day.

 

If you are a 66 year old female, you can take one tablet with the morning meal, and one tablet with the evening meal.

If you are a 66 year old male, you can do the same but will take in an extra 200 mg calcium daily. To compensate, you could split the pills, or omit one pill every few days.

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If you are taking 600mg calcium per day do you take 600mg magnesium to balance the 1:1 ratio or you take more magnesium since the magnesium RDA is higher?

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Although there isn't perfect agreement, it is generally thought that the best ratio is 2:1 calcium to magnesium.

 

If food is the source, it is ideal to eat high-calcium foods several hours apart from high-magnesium foods, as they can interfere with each other's absorption.

 

If taken as supplements, then either take supplements in a ratio of 2:1 at the same time, as this is the optimal ratio for absorption of both; or take the supplements at separate times of day.

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2:1 calcium to magnesium - this goes by the mg to mg ratio between calcium and magnesium correct? i.e if you take 1200mg of calcium, you are suppose to take 600 mg of magnesium?

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As I say, there isn't perfect agreement on the correct amounts of either, but yes, the 2:1 ratio would mean 1200 mg of calcium to 600 mg magnesium. That's probably a fine amount for most people, but I would definitely ask your doctor about it, as both minerals can interfere with some medications, such as bisphosphonates.

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Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Supplemental Magnesium is 350 mg. In that case, you are better off not taking more than 700mg of calcium if you want to stay within 2:1 ratio

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The Tolerable Upper Intake level is the maximum daily intake of supplemental magnesium that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects; it does not necessarily mean that going somewhat over that amount is unsafe.

 

If the intake is from food, excess magnesium will be excreted by healthy kidneys. But if the excess is from supplements, excess magnesium can lead to diarrhea. This generally occurs at extremely high doses, however -- 1000 mg daily or more.

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