Your Total daily intake of Calcium should be 1200 to 1500 mg. That is 4 to 5 – 8 oz glasses of milk every day. Or you can have other sources of Calcium in your Diet. If you do not get 1200 to 1500 mg of Total Calcium in your Diet, you should take Calcium Supplements.
Calcium Supplements are not as simple as we once thought. Remember that total Calcium that you can absorb in any one meal is about 500-600mg. This is diet and supplements together. This means that you will not absorb all of the Calcium in a supplement with 750 or 1000 or 1200 mg in a single dose.
The type of Calcium is often important. If the label says only “Calcium”, that is Calcium Carbonate.
Many people, especially those over 50, have problems digesting Calcium Carbonate tablets. Another calcium supplement which can be hard to digest is Calcium Hydroxyapetite.
Calcium Citrate has been available since Paul Harvey started telling “The Rest of the Story”. Calcium Citrate is easier to digest and absorb. The bottle must say “Calcium Citrate” on the front and in the list of ingredients. Calcium Gluconate and other supplements with amino acid carriers for the calcium are also easier to digest.
Tasty Calcium Supplements can entice you to take your calcium supplements every time.
You only need to take a total of 1200 to 1500 mg of Calcium daily. Over 2000 mg daily can be dangerous. Do not overdose. Remember that you also need Vitamin D and Magnesium in order to properly absorb calcium.
Jay Ginther, MD
2008 / Revised November 2010