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Cal Mag Citrate

Cal mag citrate is an abbreviation for  the citrate forms of calcium and magnesium.  cal-mag-citrate | ArticleBoth compounds in cal mag citrate are synthetic. You will not find either in nature. Both are chelated minerals, meaning these minerals have been chemically attached to an acid.

According to Whole Foods Magazine:

“Chelated calcium is calcium bound to an organic acid, such as citrate, malate, lactate, or gluconate; or to an amino acid, such as aspartate. [Some] research indicates that calcium chelates, especially calcium citrate, are more bioavailable than calcium carbonate.”

Taking Calcium Supplements With or Without Food Effects Absorption
Studies suggest that calcium chelates function like food through digestion, keeping the calcium soluble in the intestine. A chelated calcium is better absorbed than calcium carbonate without food intake. With food intake, there appears to be no difference in absorption between a chelated calcium and calcium carbonate.

Research on calcium citrate would obviously apply to a cal mag citrate complex.  According to  calciuminfo.com:

“A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compared the absorption and cost-effectiveness of single doses (500 mg) of commercially-available Os-Cal® calcium carbonate and Citracal® calcium citrate in 24 postmenopausal women.  The researchers, led by Dr. Robert P. Heaney, found that both calcium supplements were absorbed equally.”

Is Magnesium Needed with Calcium Supplements?
Magnesium Citrate, as part of cal mag citrate, is a magnesium salt bounded to citric acid. A chelated magnesium, in theory, may be better absorbed. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Magnesium Fact Sheet explains, this nutrient is essential to the body:

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.”

However, a split exists among bone health experts about the importance of taking a calcium supplement with magnesium. Some strongly recommend it. Others say other ingredients such as potassium, or a highly alkaline calcium such as AdvaCAL, do exactly the same thing as magnesium. The key is simply to avoid a magnesium deficiency.  On its Fact Sheet, the NIH comments:

“Magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium. Several human studies have suggested that magnesium supplementation may improve bone mineral density.  In a study of older adults, a greater magnesium intake maintained bone mineral density to a greater degree than a lower magnesium intake [ Diets that provide recommended levels of magnesium are beneficial for bone health, but further investigation on the role of magnesium in bone metabolism and osteoporosis is needed.”

We found no bone density research on a cal mag citrate complex. Calcium citrate with vitamin D has cal-mag-citrate | Articleprevented bone loss in some studies.  It has performed comparably to some of the research with calcium carbonate supplements.   Interestingly, AdvaCAL, comprised of calcium oxide and calcium hydroxide, has shown consistent numerical  bone density increases in four separate studies, involving postmenopausal women and men or  elderly women. AdvaCAL is available with and without magnesium.  It is certainly a serious option to consider among the premium calcium products in the market, such as cal mag citrate.