Can All Calcium Cause Constipation?

Calcium carbonate can really constipate

Can this calcium cause constipation? Yes. Calcium carbonate is the calcium found in Tums and Rolaids. Each tablet contains 200 to 400 mg. of calcium. Calcium carbonate is also found in many other less expensive forms of supplemental calcium. Calcium carbonate is a whopping 40% calcium, but it is poorly absorbed.

Calcium carbonate needs an acid environment to be absorbed. This is why calcium carbonate should only be taken when you eat, or with a glass of acidic orange juice.

Individuals taking acid blocking drugs should not take calcium carbonate, since they won’t have the necessary stomach acid to absorb it. When the stomach is empty, it doesn't have sufficient acidity to digest calcium carbonate, and sends most of it on to the colon.

Calcium sulfate and calcium carbonate are two other forms of calcium that have poor absorption, and can lead to constipation.

Calcium citrate does better

Next to calcium carbonate, this is the second most popular form of calcium. It is found in Citrical and Solgar.

Can this calcium cause constipation? Yes, but not so much as calcium carbonate. Though it is only 21% calcium, it is easier for the body to absorb than calcium carbonate. You can actually take less calcium, but absorb more.

Calcium citrate doesn't require a low pH for absorption, so it can be taken at any time. It is taken by individuals with low levels of stomach acid (common among those over 50, and those on drugs that help to lower stomach acid levels).

Calcium citrate can still cause constipation

When too much calcium citrate is taken at once, it produces an excessive amount of calcium in the blood. When this happens, the calcium hinders sodium from being absorbed into the bloodstream. The body then expels the sodium, along with a good amount of water, through the urine.

If a person isn't well hydrated, this can lead to dehydration, which is a major cause of constipation.

Want proof that calcium citrate can cause dehydration? Here it is. When you take larger doses of calcium citrate, you may likely notice a dry mouth, increased thirst, and increased urination. These symptoms are a result of dehydration caused by the body dumping sodium through the urine.

Calcium phosphate will also constipate

This form of calcium is found in the product Posture and Tribasic.  It is 39% calcium. For best absorption, it is best taken with meals.

Does this calcium cause constipation? Yes. Because it is poorly absorbed, it travels to the colon where a larger dose can cause constipation, if not balanced with magnesium.

Do not take more than is recommended by your doctor, since excess calcium can cause numerous health issues, including kidney stones. To avoid dehydration and the resulting constipation, drink with plenty of water.

Coral calcium does better

Coral calcium is better absorbed than calcium carbonate. However, all forms of calcium can cause contraction, including coral calcium.

Fortunately, coral calcium has 1 part magnesium for every 2 parts calcium. This means that it has some magnesium to help offset the calcium, so it is not as constipating as many other calcium products.

Those taking coral calcium who experience constipation need to either take less at a time, or take some extra magnesium to balance out the effect of calcium on the colon.

Dolomite, bone meal and oyster shells

It is best to avoid these forms of calcium, since they have been found to have high levels of heavy metals, including lead.

Other calcium supplements

Other forms of calcium are calcium glutamate, calcium lactate, calcium aspartate, Kreb’s Cycle and AAC (amino acid chelated).

These may be better absorbed than calcium carbonate, but like all calcium, they need to be balanced out with magnesium to prevent constipation.

(Return from Calcium Cause Constipation to Calcium and Constipation)

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