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TOPIC: Calcium-Magnesium question

Calcium-Magnesium question 15 Sep 2005 12:57 #3086

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I've read that it is important to take a vit-D supplement and magnesium (a very vital mineral that is severely leached out of our farm-lands due to pollution and incorrect farming methods) along with the Calcium to help better metabolization?

Also, there are different 'kinds' of calcium. People often ask me which is the better calcium to take, calcium carbonate or calcium citrate? What are your thoughts on this?

Calcium-Magnesium question 15 Sep 2005 14:30 #3087

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This post was last updated on 12/6/15 by Debra

Thanks for the great questions Ann,

Yes, magnesium and vitamin D are very important, they work together with calcium, as well as with other vitamins and minerals. Calcium is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body.

Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, we're learning more about how important vitamin D actually is in new studies. (Be sure and read through the new research board about vitamin D). If you are calcium or magnesium deficient you may not want to take calcium and magnesium together, because they are both 2+ cations. Calcium and magnesium essentially compete for absorption.

There seems to be some confusion about this, I see many people recommend taking high doses of magnesium together with calcium, something I don't usually recommend. The fact is, magnesium needs to be inside the cell to help pull calcium through the intestinal cell wall. Optimal levels of vitamin D also need to be present for proper calcium absorption.

I don't always suggest taking an additional magnesium tablet because magnesium is widely available in many of the foods we eat and recommended on the Cycle Diet. You don't really need a supplement if you are eating unprocessed fruits and vegetables. (note: if you are gluten or dairy intolerant/sensitive, you will probably want to take a magnesium supplement due to malabsorption and GI upset.)

The rule of thumb is 3:1 calcium to magnesium. I'm aware some scientist argue that more magnesium is needed due to your suggestion that it may not be as abundant in our foods. This looks to be true in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) food crops that are made to tolerate strong herbicides like glyphosate, also known as RoundUp. RoundUp is a herbicide that chelates ground minerals essential to the GMO plant, making them less available in uptake, which is why I would like to see more organic type foods and sustainable farming and why you should purchase organic corn, soy, sugar, wheat, and oats. Wheat and oats are not GMO, but these crops are being sprayed just prior to harvest to desiccate the crop, making it easier to harvest, but more harmful to humans and especially children. Higher residues of this herbicide is getting into final food products, which is not good. Another problem with magnesium is-- magnesium is lost in food processing. If your diet consists of mostly processed food, then you are probably not getting the proper amount of magnesium in your diet.

Top food sources of magnesium include organic milk, organic whole-grain breads, coffee, organic beef, organic potatoes, and dried beans/lentils. Magnesium is also available in green leafy vegetables, tofu, peanut butter, nuts, fish, and chicken. Mineral waters and some tap water, are also pretty good sources of magnesium depending on your water source.

The RDA for magnesium for women 18-50 is 320mg/day, the upper limit is set at 350mg/d from supplements, due to the fact that it's fairly abundant in food.

You'll know right away if you've taken too much magnesium because it increases diarrhea fairly rapidly.

If you follow the Cycle Diet and stick with recommended foods, you shouldn't have a problem getting in enough magnesium to balance the calcium. Again, if you are dairy or gluten intolerance, taking additional magnesium may not be a bad idea until you get the inflammation down inside the GI tract.

See the next post for the answer to which calcium is best.


Calcium-Magnesium question 03 Jan 2015 13:05 #10113

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I had to refer back to a couple text books regarding the question of which calcium is best and what are the different types.

The following list is from one of my favorite text books Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism 3rd edition by James L. Groff and Sareen S. Groper

Numerous calcium supplements are available from which the consumer can choose. Of the following five supplements,

Calcium carbonate absorption rate is highest at 39% +/-3%
Calcium acetate has a % absorption rate of 32+/- 4%
Calcium lactateis next with an absorption rate of 32% +/- 4% followed by
Calcium citrate with an absorption rate of 30% +/-3% (I've also seen research that says calcium citrate is absorbed at a higher rate than carbonate)
Calcium gluconate, with an absorption rate of 27% +/- 3%

The two most common supplements are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. They all have different rates of solubility, but this may be confusing to someone who needs to make a decision about purchasing a calcium tablet. In addition, vitamin D must also be available to help transport calcium into the intestine cell wall.

Calcium citrate may be better for those with kidney problems (stone developers) or low stomach acid (50+ and those with IBS or IBD). I am going to also suggest calcium citrate may be better for those with any kind of digestive problems in general. It is a little more expensive but will not reduce stomach acid as much as calcium carbonate. Stomach acid is very important in the uptake of B-12 and protein digestion.

If you do not have digestive issues, kidney problems or low stomach acid, my advice is to find an inexpensive calcium carbonate 500-600mg with at least 200-400 IU of vitamin D and take with food. Calcium citrate may be taken on an empty stomach without problems.

No need to waste you money on Coral Calcium, it's no better than calcium carbonate.

RDA recommended intake for calcium is 1,000mg-1,200mg/day for women 18-50 years old
Tolerable upper limits are set at 2,500mg/day
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