Confused about Calcium

Hi All,

I have researched this a lot, including previous posts here, but I am still not clear on what I should be doing about calcium?

My last calcium result from a Biolab minerals test showed:

Calcium 2.16 mmol/L (2.10 - 2.60)

Some advice says it is not necessary to take a calcium supplement at all. Get all my calcium from food. Plus overdoing the calcium can lead to gall or kidney stones.

Calcium is awkward to fit in to a supplement schedule because of taking it 2hours away from NDT. I take NDT in the morning and at 1pm. That leaves the evening, but advice says to take small amounts of calcium throughout the day, not one large amount at once.

Other supplements like strontium and magnesium also should be taken away from calcium in order not to compete for absorption. So I don't understand all the supplements which include both magnesium and calcium at the same time.

What kind of calcium to take? Advice seems to suggest that calcium orotate or hydroxyapatite have the best bioavailability, and forget about calcium carbonate which has the worst.

I have just been diagnosed with osteoporosis in my spine. I have all the other supps in hand, vitD, vitK, etc. I am roughly following the advice of Dr Myhill:

drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Osteopo...

She doesn't stress calcium although she does advise to take her Mineral Mix.

So can anybody advise me on the correct action I should be taking? As calcium seems to be a major component of my bones, I need to get this right.

Many thanks

June

9 Replies

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  • Calcium is just one of the components of bone. There are lots of others. With your result, I really don't think you need to supplement calcium. What is your vit D like?

    So, you have discovered the uselessness of multivits! Just what I've been saying for a long time. There is also often iron in them and that will bind with calcium and magnesium, too. You really get very, very little out of a multivit. Total waste of money!

  • Hi greygoose,

    Well, I'd rather not have yet another supp. if I can get away with it, especially not one as awkward as calcium.

    My vit D is climbing with supplementation, was 61, now 81 and aiming for 100.

    I don't use multivits but I must admit I am fed up with handfuls of pills at each meal. I am hoping that once I reach optimum levels for each I will be able to cut back some. I've had good success with folate which was low but shot right up after 6 weeks of methylfolate supp. So that has encouraged me to persevere.

    I just started all the supps after learning from this forum and finding out that I was low - on everything! You guys have probably saved me from a horrible disabled old age.

    June

  • If you're taking vit D3, that increases absorption of calcium from food, so I very much doubt you need to take calcium supplements. But, do take vit K2 to make sure it goes into the bones, and teeth, and not the tissues!

  • It's very unusual to be calcium deficient unless you are on a very restricted diet. If it shows in a blood test it is usually a Vit D or parathyroid problem. It is more likely that you are deficient in magnesium, zinc and boron, if anything. And you need K2 and weight bearing exercise for strong bones

  • Thanks Angel_of_the_North.

    As it happens, my zinc was unusually low when measured. I've now got mag. zinc and boron supps. Also K2. For weight bearing exercise I just got a Bellicon mini-trampoline and I love it. I like to walk but not in the winter when it is horrible outside.

  • As the others indicate it is not normal to be calcium deficient and unless you are on a very restricted diet you don't need supplementation.

    In addition more and more people in the UK are finding out they are lactose intolerant - I am one of them - so cannot consume products with milk, cheese and cream. However there hasn't been an increase in calcium deficiency as many other foods contain calcium such as sardines, salmon, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, figs, oranges (eat the fruit don't have the juice for other reasons), tofu and almonds. Also if you live in a hard water area there is naturally calcium in your water.

    In regards to stop taking all supplements - unfortunately with some of them unless you have changed what is the underlying cause e.g. lack of sun in case of vitamin D, gut absorption issues in case of B vitamins, diet in case of some minerals, then you are going to have to take maintenance doses, which are simply smaller amounts, once you get your levels up unless you can change the underlying cause.

  • Hi bluebug and thanks for your reply. It's good to know that calcium deficiency is not that common so I probably don't need to supplement.

    I wasn't aiming to stop all supplementation, but was hoping that maintenance doses might be found in combined pills. For example, my B Complex supplies 400 mcg folate but I was taking an additional 1000mcg folate to get it up, which I've now been able to stop. In the future I'd like to find a good multi-mineral supp which has enough of the right things in it and none of the wrong things, as most of my pills seem to be minerals. Well, one day at a time eh.

    June

  • Why a trampoline? Can't imagine that jumping on it will do any good to your discs in your spine or your knees. In my opinion, walking is the best and a treadmill would have been a better solution.

  • Good question. Have a look at the Bellicon which is built using bungee cords, not springs, and customized for weight and intended use. It is designed to give exercise and weight bearing tension without jarring the joints.

    bellicon.com/gb_en

    I agree that walking is good, however I don't want to walk outdoors in winter weather. I have used a treadmill at the gym. That experience is as rough as old boots compared to rebounding on the Bellicon.

    NASA researched the use of trampolines and bone density for returning astronauts:

    vulytrampolines.com/blog/20...

    "The acceleration, deceleration, and gravity pull positively stress your bones, which results in higher bone density (167). Higher bone density has been linked to stronger bones and a decreased incidence of fractures—a looming threat for returning astronauts."

    Rebound exercise is “the most efficient and most effective form of exercise yet devised by man"

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