It is a good idea to take your calcium supplements at a different time from your multivitamin or an iron-rich meal. Calcium can affect how your body absorbs iron, zinc and magnesium. Avoid taking calcium supplements with extremely high fiber meals.
Fiber can bind with calcium, reducing the amount available to your body. Don’t take more than 500 to 600 mg at a time, because your body is not able to absorb much more and it will be excreted in the urine.
If you’re taking an iron supplement, don’t take it at the same time you take your calcium supplement, for each can interfere with the other’s absorption. Timing is important when it comes to taking calcium supplements.
* Type of calcium. Check the label to find out what kind of calcium the supplement contains. Calcium citrate can be taken with or without food. Calcium carbonate should be taken with food. Stomach acid produced while eating helps your body absorb calcium carbonate.
* Total daily dose. Calcium is best absorbed when it’s taken in smaller doses (typically less than 600 milligrams at one time). If you take 1,000 mg of calcium a day, split it into two or more doses over the day.
* Medications and supplements. Calcium supplements can interact with many prescription medicines, including antibiotics, bisphosphonates and high blood pressure medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions between calcium supplements and your medications.
It’s also a good idea to take your calcium supplements at a different time from your multivitamin or an iron-rich meal. Calcium can affect how your body absorbs iron, zinc and magnesium.
A study from the National Institutes of Health found that men who took calcium supplements had an increased risk of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases. But other studies suggest that both men and women who take calcium supplements have a higher risk of heart disease.
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