Elemental Calcium vs Calcium Citrate vs Calcium Carbonate - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-31-2005, 12:14 PM
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All right. I'm starting to plan a way to eliminate dairy from my diet, but to be on the safe side, I want to take some Calcium supplements. I've read quite a few web sources and almost all of them say the same things, which are:

1) One should look for the Elemental Calcium in the supplement since this is the "real" Calcium.

2) Calcium Citrate is more absorbable

3) Calcium Carbonate contains more Elemental Calcium

Now, this seems like a puzzle to me because on one side they say that Caclium Citrate is more easily absorbed, but Calcium Carbonate contains more Elemental Calcium.... Can anyone help me with this puzzle?

Is Elemental Calcium the Calcium that will be absorbed (meaning the 27% or 30% they talk about)? Which one to choose, Calcium Citrate or Calcium Carbonate?


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#2 Old 08-31-2005, 01:43 PM
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Calcium Carbonate has a nasty habit of reducing the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which you need plenty of in order to absorb it. That's why TUMS is made from calcium carbonate, and why it temporarily helps with heartburn. A calcium citrate or chelate would be a better option for better absorption.
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#3 Old 08-31-2005, 02:25 PM
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Thanks. Now, what is the best calcium citrate form? Capsuls, tablets, liquid or powder?

I was thinking about the powder since I could make my own multi-grain milk and I could add the calcium in it.

For example, has anyone tried this product? http://www.nutritiongeeks.com/calciu...owder-now.html
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#4 Old 08-31-2005, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post

Thanks. Now, what is the best calcium citrate form? Capsuls, tablets, liquid or powder?

I was thinking about the powder since I could make my own multi-grain milk and I could add the calcium in it.

The delivery system is really up to you. Capsules and powders will both work fine, and so will tablets, as long as they are not coated with some super slick shellack type of stuff that your body can't break down. You can always ask the manufacturer what their tablet dissolve rate is. A quality tablet should dissolve in less than 30 minutes.

But your powder idea sounds good, since you're mixing up a shake anyway.
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#5 Old 08-31-2005, 07:39 PM
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I'd go with citrate. Calcium Carbonate lodges in your joints and brain, it is from rocks.
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#6 Old 09-01-2005, 04:22 PM
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I e-mailed them with some questions and here's what they answered (they replied within minutes):

Q1- How do you make this form of calcium citrate? What are your


A1- Typically Calcium Carbonate with Citric acid.

Q2- What is the amount of Elemental Calcium per serving (700 mg)?

A2- 700mg elemental calcium from 3000mg of Calcium Citrate powder per


Q3- What is the the absobtion rate?

A3- Individual. The citrate form is considered the best.

Q4- Being in powder form, is this less ore more absorbable than

capsules or tablets?

A4- Powder is always preferred due not having to pay attention to


Q5- How quickly does this product dissolve once ingested?

A5- Solubility: Water: 0.1% @ room temp. (more soluble in Hot water)

Rate inqested depends on amount of liquid present.

What do you think about these answers? Is this a top quality product?

Is Calcium Citrate always made with Calcium Carbonate and Citric acid?
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#7 Old 09-01-2005, 06:07 PM
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Generally, it's better to eat whole foods because alot of times there are cofactors involved in nutrient absorption, some of which aren't known to science. Methinks elemental calcium is probably not very digestable, kind of like trying to eat nail filings for iron. Also, I have been told an acidic environment is necessary for calcium absorption so calcium carbonate isn't so great.

The best things you can do for your bones:

1. Eat plenty of plant foods which have calcium, particularly greens.

2. Limit acidic foods (particularly animal protein, but also soda, coffee, etc).

3. Get plenty of weight bearing exercise.
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#8 Old 09-01-2005, 09:17 PM
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If by digestable you mean absorbable, then plant foods aren't very reliable either with few exceptions. Cauliflower, watercress, kale, collard greens, etc. have an absorption rate of >= 50%, calcium-fortified soy milk, calcium-set tofu, calcium-fortified orange juice, etc. ~30%, almonds, sesame seeds, beans, etc. ~ 20% and spinach, rhubab, Swiss chard < 5%.

As for the acid in your stomach, you need that to absorb calcium, as well as other nutrients.

Moreover, I found out about two forms of calcium which appear to have a very high absorption rate. They are Calcium orotate (90-95%) and Calcium aspartate (85%). I will investigate more on them.
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#9 Old 09-02-2005, 11:20 PM
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the more I read about Calcium, the more confused I get... Isn't there a specialist I can contact about this?
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#10 Old 09-19-2008, 07:34 AM
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My GF had bad PMS and started taking calcium citrate and magnesium citrate (the Now Foods one) and also did a liver flush using the olive oil and lemon method and all symptoms of pms are gone. The citrate is definitely good. Calcium carbonate however is not good as it is difficult to digest.

If I eat calcium carbonate straight, it upsets my stomach, calcium citrate however does not.
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#11 Old 09-20-2008, 10:19 AM
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Has anyone ever had these Adora calcium supplements? It's made with calcium carbonate...

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#12 Old 04-30-2013, 11:36 PM
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What I have found out, is that yes, calcium citrate is more absorbed into the body, whereas calcium carbonate is a culprit for forming kidney stones (since it isn't absorbed as well).   know that most calcium supplements are calcium carbonate - since it is more economical.  Calcium citrate is more expensive, but the best way to go.  Potassium citrate taken with calcium citrate is even more absorption & helps prevent kidney stones from forming.

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#13 Old 05-01-2013, 04:05 AM
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Don't forget that you should also make sure you have adequate levels of vitamin D which is needed for the body to absorb calcium.  A simple blood test may be helpful. 


I already have osteoporosis (acquired years ago as an omnivore for a variety of reasons beyond just diet) and I do supplement with calcium and a separate vegan vitamin D.  I have had problems in the past tolerating some calcium supplements and of course finding them without a bunch of other crap in the supplement I would rather not put in my body is no easy task.  One thing I do with the pills.  I put them in a glass of water and time how long it takes for them to break down.  I have had ones (ususally the chelated) that break down within a half hour, and others that sit in there for 24 hours and are still hard as a rock.  The latter is worthless. 


I do use a calcium powder made by NOW products.  I put it in smoothies etc.  It helps cut down on the amount of pills I have to take.  I just make sure to get my vitamin D on the side and I ride bike to work six months of the year so I tend to have higher vitamin D levels in the summer without having to supplement so much.  I also try to consume more calcium (and magnesium and vitamin K etc) rich leafy greens daily (collards, kale, brocoli) and several servings of plant milks.  I lift weights three or four times a week, but I have to be very careful due to weakened bones and I have already fractured (mostly from running which I had to stop but also lifting too heavy and I have a tendency to push myself too hard).  I dont know that supplementation is totally necessary if you are eating healthy and avoiding soda pop and coffee/other forms of caffeine and getting plenty of exercise that includes weight bearing.  Also maintaining a healthy normal weight and not losing too much body fat.  I am paying for the last bit.  I take hormone replacement (I also lost my ovaries at a young age and it is essential for me to function) but I don't absorb it very well when my body fat percentage is too low.  I have had many types of hormone tests done over the last eight years due to my post surgical menopausal status and other issues.  And it has taken a long time to find a route of hormone administration my body will absorb (I use a patch which seems to work the best and doesn't make my liver work so hard to process).


Another one is to avoid if you can certain drugs and hormones known to decrease bone density.  Depo Provera, acid inhibitors, and some of the SSRIs increase risk of bone loss substantially for instance. 


Finally, do not take more than 500-600 mg of calcium in a four to six hour period as the body can not absorb more than that and the extra will be lost in urine.  Or so I have heard.  I don't get the supplements that offer 1200 mg of calcium in one supplement.  Huh?

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