A current television commercial states that a particular brand of antacid not only relieves upset stomach, but also delivers something else that a body needs: Calcium!
This inexpensive calcium carbonate antacid is high in calcium content, and the U.S. government does not differentiate one source of calcium from another so it is much easier to sell consumers 1,000 mg. of antacid calcium in a couple of tablets…but is it effective calcium supplementation?
Tools of the Trade
With the exception of Amino acid bound calcium (chelate), all ingested forms of calcium are combined with the Hydrochloric acid in the stomach and converted into this harsh mineral salt. 27% of Calcium Chloride is absorbed. Harsh side effects include G.I. Upset, and constipation.
This popular form of calcium may take the form of Oyster Shells, Limestone, Dolomite, Chalk, or antacids. 24% of Calcium Carbonate is absorbed. It reduces ones ability to digest other food. It is associated with acid rebound and milk alkali syndrome. While it may temporarily decrease G.I. Upset, it often produces constipation in young adults and diarrhea in the elderly.
Milk is advertised as nature’s perfect food. As with other forms of Calcium, Milk calcium is digested into Calcium Chloride under the acid conditions in the stomach. 27% of Milk Calcium is absorbed. Allergies and sensitivities are associated with milk.
Bone meal can take several forms on dietary supplement labels. DiCalcium phosphate, TriCalcium phosphate and hydroxyanpatite are the most common. Bone meal is converted to Calcium Chloride in the stomach, since hydrochloric acid is a stronger acid than phosphoric acid. 27% of Bone Meal Calcium is absorbed. Supplementation with bone meal provides free phosphate ions to our bloodstream, a nutrient often in excess in our diets.
Calcium citrate is advertised as the source of calcium in citrus fruits. Calcium citrate is a chelate, but is not stable in the acid conditions of the stomach. Like the phosphates, it succumbs to the stronger hydrochloric acid and forms calcium chloride. 24% of calcium citrate is absorbed.
Calcium Glycinate (glycine amino acid chelate)
Calcium glycinate is a chelate stable enough to withstand the acids and enzymes in the stomach. It is absorbed intact from the duodenum. 44% of Calcium Glycinate is absorbed. Bowel tolerance is good, and G.I. Upset is minimal.