Healthy Q & A: Calcium Absorption


I’d recently read an article that was pretty much saying that calcium supplements were useless and that they didn’t really do anything since you’re probably not absorbing it.   What do you think?  I guess I’m looking for reassurance.


There is always going to be someone out there trying to say that supplements are a waste of time.  That being said, there is a lot of difference between different calcium supplements and formulations, which can make a big difference in how it’s used and absorbed by the body.


First, I’d like to say that it’s unlikely that the body can absorb more than 500mg of calcium at a time, so while everyone might want to just take one pill for their daily needs of calcium, it’s not really in your best interest.  Also, it’s important to think of your daily calcium consumption from foods.  If a person is eating 2-3 servings of dairy products a day, they might not need to take the entire recommended dosage of 1,000mg of calcium.


Calcium is the most well known supplement for the bones, and for good reason- calcium is key to building new bone.  When it comes to supplements however, calcium is not the end of the story.  There are a number of other important nutrients which can aid in calcium absorption and in helping the body to use the calcium correctly.   In fact, a person may be doing themselves a disservice by taking calcium by itself.


Magnesium is one of the most important supplements next to calcium.  It helps the body to absorb calcium and prevents the calcification of tissues in the body.   It literally helps calcium to go into the bones.  Vitamin D is also crucial for protecting the bones and for helping the body to absorb calcium (calcium is notoriously difficult for the body to absorb and utilize correctly).  Another supplement I really love that’s great for the bones is vitamin K2, it works as a traffic guard in the body- directing calcium to the bones and away from the arteries and soft tissues, helping to prevent and reverse arteriosclerosis.


The best calcium supplement I’d recommend is Jarrow’s Bone Up, it has the most bone co-factors compared to any other supplement including 1000mg of vitamin D3, as well as vitamin K2, magnesium, boron, and a host of other bone building supplements.