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Calcium Basics

Calcium is part of the basic mineral balance of the body. Calcium is key to coordinating the movement of nutrients into the cell and waste products out. It also is important to aid in the relaxation of muscles. You also know about the importance of calcium in building bones. The Dairy Council has pounded that one home. If you are having calcium problems, you may not notice the effect on the cell receptors and active transport across membranes and you won't notice any calcium problems in the bones until it is way too late. You can't even tell with a basic blood test as low calcium in the blood doesn't mean you need more in your diet. You might notice some muscle cramping, especially at night. This is the most common sign that something is amiss.

I studied with Victor Frank, ND, DC many years ago. Dr. Frank worked on a physiology research project with NASA in Pasadena in the 70's. One thing they figured out is that as far as supplementation goes, that body does best with changing types and brands regularly. It would be convenient if you could just pick one and that would be that.

He told a story of a woman who was in fetal cramps in a hospital in the Pasadena area. No matter what they tried they couldn't get her muscles to relax. One of the nurses knew of Dr. Frank's work and suggested they give him a try. They were so desperate they decided there wasn't much to lose even going so far as to consult with a chiropractor. They transported her to his office by ambulance. He did his check for calcium and other problems that he learned in the NASA study and announced that her immediate problem was calcium. They said that was impossible because they were giving her calcium in her IV. He told them to change the calcium and to remember that they brought her to him and they might as well give it a try. They put a different calcium in her IV and within minutes was she able to relax.

You don't have to wait for cramping of that intensity to learn a simple lesson. Pick two or three quality calcium products like Karuna CalGuard, Nutri-West Calcium Lactate, Metagenics Ostera or Karuna CalPlex. Rotate them every month.

How much do you need? You will need a lot less of a quality product. Cheap calciums like calcium carbonate often aren't that easily absorbed so you might need 2000 mg or more a day of those to make progress. As with all supplements you can find some pretty cheap ones in any major big box store or online. Remember that you are trying to get healthier and that there is reason these supplements are so cheap. Your body will know this difference even if the label is impressive.

Most calcium supplement formulas contain some magnesium because magnesium aids in the absorption and utilization of calcium. Usually a 2:1 ratio will do the trick.

Calcium interferes with the absorption of magnesium and many people are also magnesium deficient. Therefore you will need to take your calcium/magnesium supplement apart from your magnesium without calcium. Keeping them a few hours apart will be sufficient.

For general calcium needs, we recommend products like Karuna CalGuard, Nutri-West Calcium Lactate and/or Metagenics Osteo-Citrate. For more specific bone support, see Shop By Concern:Bone Support.

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