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Best Calcium for Bones

Best calcium sources and best calcium brands are not the same thing.  best calcium | Review ArticleMany brands use the same source of calcium, but report different absorption measures. This can be largely attributable to manufacturing differences among calcium manufacturers.

In the 2007 Journal Food Science article entitled “Calcium Forticants: Strategies for Improving Calcium Nutriture” Rafferty found that calcium carbonate brands had large absorption differences. The authors conclude that additives in processing and tabletting were contributing to the variation.

Many health organizations, such as the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommend using calcium brands that meet US Pharmacopeia (USP) guidelines. AdvaCAL, for example, consistently satisfies USP standards. The manufacturer of AdvaCAL, LaneLabs, is also certified in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Determining the best calcium source is a bit different. It involves discerning the calcium salt from tabletting or encapsulating techniques.  One way to do this is to review the body of research of a given type of calcium. For example, if one calcium source has consistently increased bone density in its research studies, and other types have not, you may be able to deduce subjectively that it is a better calcium type for that need. The more scientific approach to determine the best calcium involves running large clinical trials, comparing leading types of calcium in the same populations under similar conditions over time. This type of comprehensive study has not been published among the scientific research we reviewed. This is probably to due to the great expense involved in running such a study.

Besides bone related research, there are other ways to judge the best calcium for your needs.  Does the calcium source cause stomach gas? Is it bulky requiring a large pill size or dense with a small tablet or capsule? Does it need to be taken with food to be properly absorbed in people with low stomach gas or on acid blocking medications? Could it contain unacceptable levels of impurities, dyes and preservatives?  One chart to evaluate ease of use of different calcium sources is available at http://www.bonelossandyou.com/compare-ease-use

Some people consider dairy to be the best calcium source. Dairy is certainly rich in calcium, in this case calcium lactate.  However, dairy also carries some controversy. Some researchers, including an expert from Harvard University, believe that high dairy intake is associated with certain health conditions.  The link is not believed to be the calcium but the other ingredients or chemicals present in dairy.  No firm conclusion has been reached.

best calcium | Review ArticleYour approach to find the perfect calcium should start with identifying the right source of calcium for your needs.  If your goal is to build bone density, look for a calcium source with the most impressive research in that area. Then, consider ease of use factors and production methods of particular brand that contain that type of calcium. Based on this three-step assessment you will likely end-up with your best calcium.