Calcium Supplements – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Now, the likelihood that you’re going to hurt
yourself with calcium supplementation is very small. It’s one of the nutrients that we say, “Look,
you can take it. It’s probably not going to hurt you, but it
also may not be helping you, and in that regard, it is hurting you, because you’re spending
money on something that’s not necessary, per se, and isn’t going to help you.” And some newer research would even argue that
taking high doses of calcium without Vitamin K and without magnesium could be potentially
problematic for a person, as well. So, my advice to you: if you’re going to use
a calcium supplement, you always want to take… so let’s make some room up here. So, if you’re going to supplement with calcium,
we want a two to one ratio with magnesium. So, calcium, we want… so let’s say, for
example, you’re taking 600 milligrams of calcium. You want at least 300 milligrams of magnesium;
maybe more, depending on whether or not you’re magnesium deficient. But if you’re going to supplement these two,
you want to supplement with them together, unless they’re a contraindication like kidney
disease or something like that. So, again, if you’re supplementing… Now, what kinds of supplements for calcium
are good? What kinds are bad? You know, there’s a laundry list of different
products and supplements out there on the market. So which one of them is the better form? The best form of calcium, supplementally speaking,
depends… because if we’re talking about intracellular or extracellular calcium, sometimes
there’s a difference. So, let’s talk a little bit about forms of
calcium. You’ve got carbonate, which is the oyster
shell, or bone fragment stuff, which is not really any good. Carbonate is really bulky, so it comes in
these massive horse pills, but your body doesn’t absorb it very well. So, this is probably… if we say, “Okay,
which one do I not want to use?” Carbonate’s not a great form. There’s something called hydroxyapatite. So, calcium hydroxyapatite is another form,
and it’s a bone matrix supplement, and it’s fair. It’s a good form. But then you have citrate, arguably the better
of the versions of calcium; I’ll put a little star by it. You’ve got citrate malate. You’ve got calcium malate. And then you’ve got calcium orotate. And so, if we’re talking about just good old-fashioned,
tried and true, what the research says as far as absorption rates, this is it right
here. This is where your money’s at, is the calcium
citrate. One of the best forms, and generally speaking,
the pill size is reduced to a certain extent; not quite as huge of a pill, although they
still are pretty big pills. Now, if you’re talking about intracellular
calcium, like some research… again, this is not… when I say this is not mega-conclusive,
meaning there’s still research that should probably be done… but calcium orotate is
good at getting inside the cell; whereas calcium citrate is good at getting absorbed through
the GI tract, good at getting into your bloodstream; orotate is really good in getting inside your
cells. So, intracellular calcium. So, you know, that is something to be considered
if maybe you’ve been told you had a calcium deficiency by your doc, and you were non-responsive
to calcium citrate, you might look toward orotate as a potential form to get your calcium
in you. So, these are your basic forms. Again, carbonate’s no good. Calcium hydroxyapatite, calcium citrate, calcium
malate, calcium orotate; preferably always taken in a two to one calcium-magnesium ratio,
and preferably taken with Vitamin K. And when I say taken with Vitamin K, it’s why I’m a
big fan of food… so going back to what we talked about here. Vitamin K, lots of Vitamin K. Vitamin K here. You get Vitamin K when you take it in with
your food, because nature knows already that putting the two together… Vitamin K’s necessary to push calcium into
the cell. It’s one of the important factors there. So, again, if you’re going to supplement,
consider Vitamin K as an important element to be able to drive calcium into the cell. So, consider what your diet is, because if
your diet’s a poor source of Vitamin K, then you might really want to consider changing
your diet instead of… again, changing your diet first instead of supplementing. If you’re doing this all on your own without
somebody guiding you, without a doctor, try it with food first. You’re going to have a hard-pressed time hurting
yourself with food, if the food fits a definition of what real food is. Right? I’m not talking about frood. I’m not talking about highly-processed stuff
that we call food. I’m talking about real, wholesome foods that
are important and necessary for your body to function. Okay. So, maybe I didn’t answer how much calcium
should a person be taking. So, like, depends. If we’re talking about a therapeutic dose,
you know, 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. So, don’t really recommend anybody look to
try to go beyond that. You don’t necessarily need to push more than
that if your diet is adequate. Now, are there toxic symptoms of calcium,
meaning can you take too much? With some cultures… there’s some tribal
cultures that generally thrive largely on milk, and their dietary intake of calcium
is 5,000 plus milligrams a day, and in that culture, we don’t really see any signs or
symptoms of calcium toxicity. But where I would say you’ve got to be careful
and be cautious is one, if you’ve got a kidney disorder and there could be a problem with
your kidney not properly absorbing, re-absorbing or letting go of calcium appropriately. Additionally to that, pay attention to lethargy;
if taking calcium makes you really tired and makes you feel really, really foggy, it’s
probably not for you. It’s probably not a good idea for you to take
it. But beyond those things, again, it’s really
hard to become toxic in calcium. Remember, you have this huge skeletal structure
that’s predominantly made, in a large part, by calcium, so you know, it’s not going to
be super, super easy. It’s not one of those nutrients that can cause
massive levels of toxicity, especially not at these levels. Again, if you’ve got a kidney disorder, that’s
a different matter. You should follow up with your nephrologist
or your kidney doc before you are taking heavy levels of electrolyte-based supplements into
you anyways. Speaker 2: Hey, and if you missed the earlier
part of this series, click right here so you can go back and get caught up. The information there might be critical to
helping you on your path to better health. And as always, thanks for tuning in. Make sure you subscribe for updates below. Have a great day.

6 thoughts on “Calcium Supplements – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”

  1. Death by Calcium — Proof of the Toxic Effects of Dairy and Calcium Supplements- Dr.Thomas Levy.

  2. Hmm… Dr. Osborne, I'm actually surprised by this lecture. As a cardiac patient, I have done much research on the causes of arterial plaque, and calcium supplementation is proving to be one of the players in that pathway. As you said, just get calcium from whole food… yes, but that's all. Don't take calcium supplements. Also, regarding vitamin K, I'm sure you're specifically speaking of K2. I read the book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox. I've been taking K2 along with the supporting cofactors, vits. A & D. They work synergistically with the K2, removing calcium from soft tissues (i.e., arteries) where it doesn't belong and plugging it into bones, where it does belong. Since taking K2, I have also noticed less plaque buildup on my teeth! Anyway, I'm always in accordance with all that you say, but this time, I must admit, I'm not so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *