What is calcium?
Calcium is an essential mineral found in our body. About 90 percent of the calcium in your body is found in bones and teeth, while the remaining 10 percent is found in the blood. Calcium is responsible for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and blood clotting. If the level of calcium in your blood is low, your body will extract it from your bones and increase the supply in your blood to maintain balance. Because of this, it’s very important to ensure you are consuming enough calcium.
What kind of calcium supplement is right for you?
There are many different types of calcium supplements available on the market, and they come in varying doses, preparation, and combinations. What’s best for you may depend on how much calcium you need in reference to your age and medical condition (if one exists).
The mineral calcium, commonly known as elemental calcium, exists naturally along with other substances, called compounds. Several different kinds of calcium compounds are used to manufacture calcium supplements. Each compound contains varying amounts of elemental calcium.
Calcium carbonate (40 percent elemental calcium) is one of the two major forms of calcium supplements. The other one is calcium citrate (21 percent elemental calcium), which works the same as calcium carbonate but has a bigger price tag! These supplements make your bones stronger and healthier. At the same time, they balance the calcium levels needed by your body. For better absorption, calcium carbonate should be taken with food.
Other common calcium supplements may be labeled as calcium gluconate (9 percent elemental calcium) and calcium lactate (13 percent elemental calcium).
Is there a link between calcium supplements and heart attacks?
While calcium supplements have some obvious health benefits, a study published in the British Medical Journal (July 2010) showed a link between calcium supplements and heart attacks.