Calcium Can Be Confusing
Getting the right amount of Calcium every day can be confusing. The total of 1200 mg (1500 mg to correct long term deficiency) daily sounds easy. You can only absorb 500 mg (maybe 600 mg) in a single meal. Therefore, split your Calcium into 3 doses.
Calcium is best when it is in food. Calcium Supplements with meals are good too. Many of us need “Calcium CITRATE” rather than plain “Calcium” for easier absorption and fewer side effects.
Try to get a total of 400-500 mg Calcium in each meal. Count Calcium in Foods and Calcium in Supplements. If you have the same foods every day, it is easy to set up your supplements. But the same diet every day is boring! I like variety.
I often use milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, almonds, broccoli or Adora Chocolates. I find the only way to know how much supplement I need at each meal is to wait until the end of the meal and do a quick calculation of what I have eaten. After 5 years I have the numbers mostly memorized. The first few months were rather ugly.
Aiming for 2 Calcium Items of 200-300 mg each at each meal is the easiest for me. Many patients use that system too. If you add a yogurt or slice of cheese, you can skip a pill. Or add a pill if there is not at least 200 mg Calcium in your food. Or savor a dessert of Adora Chocolate instead of pills and calcium containing food.
See our Calcium in Foods 2014.
You can do this! You can Take Control Naturally.
Jay Ginther, MD