Taking Calcium and Magnesium together or NOT?

Just read something to the effect that calcium and magnesium should not be taken together. IS THIS TRUE? When I take my magnesium, I always take it with my calcium. Hope I haven't been goofing up my protocol.

Report post

25 replies. Join the discussion

there is so much conflicting information out there
it hard to know whats true ,what isnt
I read that you have to take half as much magnesium with calcium for the calcium to be properly absorbed.
the calcium tablets I take has magnesium included in it as well as other co-nutrients like manganese,zinc,boron,k1 , D3

Report post

I've been taking the two together...hope I'm doing it right. If it's not one conflicting bit of information, it's another, eh?

Report post

Could you provide us with the link where you read about magnesium?

Report post

Mine is a combination of Calcium, Mag, and zinc.

Report post

I just read it on askwaltstollmd.com. One of the posts mentions one sentence about the cal-mag issue.

Report post

Just because something is found on the Internet does not mean that it is true. I often only remember things that I want to believe, and I disregard the rest. On other occassions I become concerned when I read something that is different from what I have always believed. Having too much information available is not always a good thing.

Report post

This site is good source of info on vits,supplements and herbs:
http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/11570.cfm

Report post

One of the alternative doctors that I trust is Dr. Nan Fuchs. She has many good articles on her site at:
WomensHealthLetter.com.
She recommends taking equal amounts of Magnesium and Calcium and taking them together.
Perhaps the reference you found that discourages taking them together was thinking of Strontium rather than Magnesium. Strontium can never be taken with Calcium because if it is taken at the same time, the bones will absorb only the Calcium because Calcium is higher up on the mineral scale, and then the Strontium would be wasted.

Report post

Spunky, you can take them together. That's why you often find them blended into one supplement.

It is the calcium + strontium combo you want to avoid. They are absorbed through the same pathways, so the thought is that they will cancel each other out. With strontium and calcium, you want to leave a two hour window between the two.

Magnesium, on the other hand, is a synergist with calcium. It helps the body absorb the calcium you're consuming. So taking them together is actually a good thing. Take it with a little OJ (calcium is better absorbed in an acid environment), and you'll do even better.

Best,
lilrayosun

Report post

Hi spunkyblondie.

I’ve seen conflicting advices also. Just for your reading enjoyment, pls see below:

Excerpt from Gayle Eversole’s article, Magnesium & Calcium Aren't Always The Best Of Friends, “…Calcium should be taken during the day. Magnesium is best taken at bedtime for better utilization and better sleep. The reason for this is that calcium is antagonistic towards magnesium, as they act biochemically to cancel each other out. … I have suggested for years a 2-to-1 ratio of magnesium to calcium which is not commonly used. This was the common recommendation from biochemists in the 1940s-1960s….”

Ref: http://blog.seattlepi.com/naturalnotes/archives/177979.asp

Another excerpt: “ … Magnesium and calcium compete with each other for intestinal absorption. Consequently, calcium supplements should not be taken at the same time as magnesium supplements.”

Ref: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=45

In addition, the The Magnesium Web Site Online Library has an interesting comment “… Calcium causes muscles to contract, while magnesium helps them relax. When calcium is taken for menstrual cramps it knocks magnesium out of the cells and makes it more available for immediate use. However, it depletes the body of magnesium and ensures that the problem will recur the following month unless sufficient magnesium is added to the diet…”
Ref: http://www.mgwater.com/calmagab.shtml ...

I am not sure what is the best regimen. At this time, I take a Magnesium Citrate 160 mg (by itself or with Vitamin D3 and Vit. K2.) However, my multi-vitamins have both Calcium and Magnesium. I try to get Calcium form food and take the Calcium supplements only once a week or so. I already bought many different kinds of "bone" supplements and hate to discard them right away.

Best regards,
Sylvia * * * * *

Report post

I recently went through an evaluation with a cardiologist and part of it was their looking at the list of medications and supplements I am taking.

They wanted to be sure I was taking a calcium supplement that had 1/2 the amount of magnesium combined with it.

I add that in as it has always been my perception that this is a good means for the calcium to be absorbed and I was grateful to hear from a doctor treating me that is how he/ his staff look at it also.

Report post

Sylvia--See Llou's post, just below yours! Your post and her post are total opposites.

Report post

LLou--See Sylvia's post, just above yours. Total opposite of yours! No wonder we have different dexas. We're all doing different things and don't know which is the right way. Confusing.

Report post

Ah - one thing is consistent here among all our experiences in trying to find out what is the best re: these two supplements -

It is confusing!

I pray we can all do the best we can with the help we are getting - the information we are getting - and pursue answers when we are feeling conflicted.

Report post

Hi LLou and Spunkyblondie,

Yes, I agree that this is confusing. Hopefully, my knowledgeable friend will be able to help us. I will send him an email now. Will share his advice with you.

<3 Sylvia * * * * *

Report post

Thanks, Sylvia. That is so thoughtful of you.

Report post

Thanks, Sylvia! The conflicting information makes it just that much harder!

Thanks again!

Report post

My reading suggests that dividing them is the correct measure. I take magnesium at night to prevent feet and legs from cramping.

Report post

I think too, we arent all twins. Llou was seing a cardiologist and magnesium has certain affects on the heart. some people may need to avoid it and some get a supplement in a pill. likewsie calcium. just downing these things like candy can be just as detrimental as taking the prescirbed drugs so many fear.
Some people stimulate calcium thru prostagandinds and some have excess in arteries... everyone really is different with different problems, especially as we get older. some are are other meds not mentioned here. I think following some cookbook suplement advice off ghe internet is scary too tho I appreciate the advice of others who have had both good and bad experiences on medication.

Report post

Talking about conflicting information. I have seen lots of it here and on other boards. I take my Ca. and Mag. separately.

Also the bottle of Strontium Citrate says to take it with food. At least mine does. However, according to others who have been taking it for awhile and have had good dexa scans with it is to take it on an empty stomach.

Yeah, talk about confused !! I know I am but am taking mine sort of before dinner, an hour or so. With all the stuff I take it is hard to supposedly take everythihg at the correct time. Others take theirs upon rising in the morning. However, that is when I take my thyroid meds. Others take theirs in the middle of the night when they get up to go to the boatahroom. I thought that was a good idea. However, a few times I got up and was so out of it I forgot to take it.

My Mag. comes in a powder that you drink and I take that with some of my supps after dinner. However, I take mine a few hours later because that is what I had heard.

Then again why are some of the Ca/Mg supps. together. Who knows what is what for sure ! We just keep on going and hope something is right (:!!

Hugz to awl,
Granni

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.