Calcium Absorption

I have been fairly faithful with my fosamax and calcium supplements for several years, since I was "cold-turkeyed" off estrogen due to breast cancer. I was dismayed to learn this year that my bone density had dropped to -2.9.
Then I read a suggestion for testing the absorption rate of your calcium supplement. Put your pill in vinegar for 30 minutes and see whether it will dissolve. I put a pill in vinegar, forgot about it, and saw three hours later that it had not dissolved.
I believe that my drop in bone density may be related to poorly absorbed calcium. I have switched to another form that is already liquid and "acidified". It is more expensive, but not nearly so expensive as bone loss!
So, friends, please check your calcium to be sure it is absorbing. I am no expert at this. Maybe another of you knows a better way to check this. If so please share it!

Deanna

Report post

23 replies. Join the discussion

Deanna,
The same thing happened to me regarding faithfully taking Fosamax and calcium (and exercising) only to have bone density continue to drop. My doctor did say that about 5% of the population does not react at all to Fosomax which may be the reason for the continued bone loss. Still, I suspect that the calcium absorption may be a bigger factor. I'm really confused standing in front of all the choices at the drug store and am not sure what the best supplement is or if the ones I am currently using are effective. I will definitely try the test you suggested.
Thanks,
Jill

Report post

Calcium citrate is more easily absorbed and can be taken with or without food. Constipation is not such a problem as with calcium carbonate.
It does cost more, but a much better "bang for the buck" in my opinion.
Lucy Buckley PT

Report post

Any ideas for those of us who can't take calcium? Both times I took it, I developed a kidney stone and don't want to try for a third!

Report post

I recommend CitraCal and take it in the evening since calcium is better absorbed during the night

Report post

I take Citracal with D; since I take so much I split it and take some in the morning, some at noon and the rest in the evening. I've been told a person's body can absorb only so much (I think it is 400-500 mg) at a time so that it why I divide the calcium.

Report post

Regarding using vinegar to "test" your supplement to see if it disolves - I have read a number of different reports that said vinegar doesn't prove or disprove anything. The reason is that vinegar is incredibly weak compared to real stomach acid, and is a useless test. I researched it because I did the same thing! Since my tablet didn't disolve at all, part of me still felt like the vinegar should have done SOMETHING, so I switched to a supplement that comes in a capsule, which we know will disolve. Also, the other's recommendations for calcium citrate are excellent; that's the most absorbable type. You can also have your blood tested for calcium as part of regular blood work to see if your numbers are ok. Take care!
Wendy

Report post

DEanna Thankyou

Can you pls give the brand name and details on your new liquid calcium supplement

and also give the brand and details on the one that did not work. Let us know ofcourse clearly which is which] please

looking forward to hearing from you, my dear

Joanie

Report post

Hi Deanna,
I take liquid calcium in capsules. I think absorbability is so very important. The brand I take is Liquid Calcium 1000mg. Phyto Therapy is the name of the company. There are six forms of calcium, magnesium,vitamins D and K as well as boron in the capsules. All help to support the calcium. Their website is www.phytotherapyusa.com
Sunny1

Report post

Dear Joanie,
The tablet which did not dissolve was Kal out of Nutraceutical Corp for makers of KAL, Park City, UT. I see on the label that it is guaranteed to dissolve in 30 minutes or less. Maybe that is in battery acid? It is a vegetarian product containing calcium and magnesium.

I bought a liquid product by Lifetime, which contains calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It was the only liquid I saw at my grocery so the purchase was relatively brainless. I see that someone else has found one she seems to have studied.

I also got some chocolate candy with calcium. I don't know how effective it is for bones but it helps my disposition to have a chocolate! :-)
Deanna

Report post

Hello DeannaB,

The secret to calcium isn't how fast it gets into your system its how well it absorps into your bone bank. My research shows that taking calcium alone the average absorption rate is 15 to 20 per cent. Adding Vit D3 and magnesium helps the rate to 30 per cent. The only way to know is a blood test to check your calcium level. I use a combination of natural products and my absoption rate is 89%. Virginia

Report post

i had a similar problem and was referred to an endocrinologist by my GYN doctor. He ran some tests and a 24 hr. urine test and determined that my calcium was being excreted in my urine, not kept in my body. I now take hydrochlorat .25mg 1X a day and after 6 months my T scores improved for the first time in 2 years. It is a generic drug and doesn't cost much. I still take Actonel along with it. The endocrinologist says that my condition too much calcium in my uring (hypocalcuria) can be inherited but most people don't know they have it.
Good Luck

Report post

Hello everyone,
Can I just tell you what happened to me
I've been taking Calcium tablet with D3, magnesium and minerals called Osterprime

I took more at one time on sunday and also took a multi vitamin, possibly I didnt drink enough water that day
the next day around noon I started to feel ill and felt nauseas (sorry to tell this) and broke out in a sweat and then felt a bit better. I don't know I felt it was possibly from the vitamins?

then the next day (possibly not related) I got a very sore lower back. I haven't taken my calcium since.

and don't walk so much.

I guess I should see my doctor, but the Fosomax she gave me - gave me horrible side effects and I don't want to put myself through trying another one
I am reading about Dr Northrup's book "Wisdom of Menopause" she has a very good chapter on Osteoporosis and different treatments including
soy and progesterone cream and talks about bio identical hormones

Thanks for listening
You all are the best

JoanL

Report post

Joani:
Sounds like you took too much/too many vitamins at once. Your gastrointestinal tract just could not handle all that.
Sort out what you are eating and try to cover your bases more with GOOD FOOD, not loads of supplements.
Lucy Buckle PT aka Mother Goose

Report post

Thank you MOther Goose and everyone

I appreciate this exchange of information and support.

You all are so wonderful

Many many thanks and we can heal!!!

JoanL

Report post

I do know that too high and too low of calcium levels can make you sick and cause irregular heartbeat and rapid heartrate. Also, did you know that sunblock sucks out 97% of your vit. D out of your body....Kat

Report post

can you please say the specific brand?

Report post

In regards to the comment about calcium being better absorbed at night, can you please cite specific research that shows this to be the case?
Thanks :)

Report post

Hi Blues,
My BIL is a doc and he told me what you say. Only 500 mg is absorbed at one time.

Report post

This is something that I became aware of after talking with several endocrinologists. If I come across literature, I will post it.

Report post

I am curious about the hydrochlorat .25mg . Just had a test and dr says I am losing too much calcium in urine. Have had these test before and not heard this. Do you have sx from taking it. Anyone else take this and have you had success with it?

Thank you!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support NOF

Help the National Osteoporosis Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the National Osteoporosis Foundation

Learn more about osteoporosis awareness and prevention

Discussion topics

Links and resources from NOF

Community leaders

Disclaimer

The National Osteoporosis Foundation would like to remind visitors and community members that the views and opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of NOF. Please consult your personal healthcare provider regarding any medical information that is shared on this site.