Heard on the Radio

"Did you know... most calcium supplements are made from rock?"

"From rock?"

"Yes! So I'm switching to Blah-Blah-Blah, containing only calcium extracted from plants!"

Wow, and I also just learned most salt comes from CRYSTALS dried from seawater or mined from underground. CRYSTALS! From now on, I'm going to get my salt only from animal urine!


  1. Anonymous9:45 PM

    While there are different forms of every mineral, it's pretty absurd to be surprised that a mineral would come from a rock (it's a freaking mineral!). The only real thing that one should look at is the bioavailability of the form of mineral in question, but most calcium salts used for supplementation (lactate, carbonate, gluconate, etc) are almost identical in this respect.

    Often, it isn't really a good idea to supplement calcium alone, even for women, because it tends to mess up the balance of other minerals such as magnesium and potassium. It's much better to try to get your daily requirement from diet. But if one is to supplement something like calcium, it is often a good idea to also supplement magnesium (and ensure that you're getting plenty of potassium), this is due to how calcium messes with the absorbability of magnesium, how calcium and magnesium work together with regard to muscle contraction and relaxation (especially in the heart), and that it is already often impossible to get enough magnesium through diet alone (which can complicate matters).

    When it comes to magnesium supplementation, bioavailability between the different forms is very important because there are vast differences between them in this respect. For instance, the most common magnesium supplement is magnesium oxide. It has a very low bioavailability and it generally just gives you the craps (it's often used as a laxative, like most magnesium forms). One of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium is magnesium citrate (which is typically magnesium carbonate mixed with citric acid to form an ionic magnesium form when mixed with water). In dry form it is also a powerful laxative, but when mixed with water to form an ionic state, it not only is far less bowel inducing, but it is also highly bioavailable.

    I only supplement magnesium and sometimes calcium (depending upon my dietary intake of calcium) during the summer months, because I often do a lot of long-distance biking, which depletes these minerals in the body. It's pretty easy to tell when I am depleted, because I get premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), cramping, and muscles spasms. The supplementation alleviates these problems. The supplement that I take is called Natural Calm, and I take one of two versions depending upon my dietary intake: one is simply magnesium and potassium (ionic magnesium and potassium citrate), the other is the same formula but with added calcium gluconate. I wouldn't generally recommend this for the average person, because they don't usually know their mineral intake or balance, and without that knowledge you could possibly do more harm than good.


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