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Calcium is important in the building of strong bones and teeth and is also involved in helping balance your blood electrolytes that is important for nerve and muscle function. If you test your blood for magesium you can get an idea of your need for dietary magnesium. Your lab values for calcium don't say much about your need for dietary calcium as you can be totally deficient and your body will just get what it needs from your bones to keep your blood levels reasonably stable. A frequent sign that you might be having some calcium issues is leg cramping especially at night. By the time you have osteopenia, you have been deficient in your bone health components for some time in most cases. We also recommend changing your calcium supplement monthly. The body tends to do better when you use different forms. Some calcium supplements are pretty basic and some have extra bone building factors. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you would do well to choose a calcium supplement with those extra factors. For a basic calcium formula we have chosen to carry Karuna CalGuard and Nutri-West Calcium Lactate and Metagenics Osteo-Citrate.
For a more complete bone building formula you will choose Metagenics Ostera.
You might notice that many calcium supplements include magnesium. This is because magnesium helps with the uptake of calcium. Calcium on the other hand, interferes with the utilization of magnesium so if you have magnesium needs too, you will want to take a magnesium supplement without calcium a different time of day than the calcium and magnesium combination.
For a more complete discussion see Health Resources:Calcium Basics