View Full Version : calcium carbonate vs calcium citrate

12-16-2009, 01:04 PM
Which is better? mu bone density test did not look good this time. I take just tums for now.

12-16-2009, 01:19 PM
Calcium Citrate is acidic based and Calcium Carbonate is alkaline based. Choosing the right calcium supplement really depends what your needs are! When purchasing calcium supplements, be sure to look for the elemental calcium content, not the total content. For instance, a supplement containing 500mg of Calcium Carbonate provides 200mg of elemental calcium. Hence this pill in this example only provides 200mg of calcium, not 500mg.

1) Calcium Citrate pros & cons:

a) Absorption: Calcium is best absorbed in an acidic environment, hence calcium citrate is the best absorbed supplemental form of calcium. It does not require extra stomach acid for absorption, hence you can take it anytime in a day, even on an empty stomach.
b) Calcium content: Calcium Citrate usually provides less elemental calcium per pill than Calcium Carbonate, therefore you might need to take a few more pills per day to meet the needs.
c) Pill Size: Calcium Citrate is usually small in capsule form.
If you suffer from acid stomach, it is best to avoid Calcium Citrate.

2) Calcium Carbonate (e.g. Tums or Caltrate)

a) Absorption: Calcium Carbonate is alkaline based, it requires extra stomach acid for better absorption, hence it is best taken right after meals or with a glass of acidic juice such as orange juice.
b) Calcium Content: Calcium Carbonate is the most prevalent calcium supplements in the market . It provides more elemental calcium than Calcium Citrate hence you may not need take as many pills.
c) Pill Size: Calcium Carbonate usually comes in a bigger tablet, some people may find it harder to swallow (I use a motor and pestle to crush them!)
One important factor affecting calcium absorption is how well the supplement dissolves. Try buying calcium supplements of US Pharmacopeia's standards. The "USP" on the label indicates that the calcium supplement meets the USP standards of supplying adequate elemental calcium and how well it dissolves in our intestines.

I hope that this has been helpful to you!

Peace and Blessings