NUTRITION HOTLINE: Calcium supplements and constipation

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NUTRITION HOTLINE: Calcium supplements and constipation

Q: Can you recommend any types of calcium supplements? Several of my friends have stopped taking their calcium because of problems with constipation. (Morgan L.)

A: Taking calcium in tablet form can be constipating. I have had good results with chewable forms of calcium carbonate including ViactivTM, Nature MadeTM and Nature’s PlusTM products. Another option is liquid calcium citrate, which is available at health food stores. Calcium carbonate is cheaper and is well absorbed in younger women, but postmenopausal women not on estrogen replacement or younger women who are not menstruating should take calcium citrate, as it does not require estrogen for absorption.

The usual dosage I also recommend is 1000-1500 mg per day, depending on age and dietary intake of calcium. I recommend calcium supplements if you are not consuming three servings of milk, cheese, yogurt, or calcium-fortified soy milk or orange juice per day.

Reprinted with permission from Eating Disorders Recovery Today
Spring 2003 Volume 1, Number 4
©2003 Gürze Books

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