Calcium citrate is a dietary supplement important for maintaining strong bones and teeth. It is useful for people with low stomach acid, as other forms of this mineral need an acidic environment for proper absorption. Many people believe that vitamins and minerals are automatically free of side effects, but calcium citrate could cause constipation, gas, and belching.
What Is Calcium Citrate?
Calcium citrate is a form of calcium used in some calcium supplements. It is particularly useful for people with low stomach acid, such as many elderly people or people who take acid-reducing medications, since other forms of calcium need an acidic environment for proper absorption. In addition, unlike other forms of calcium, it is well absorbed, even on an empty stomach (other types of calcium should be taken with food).
Some people think that vitamins or minerals are naturally free of side effects. However, this is simply not the case. Calcium citrate has been reported to cause various side effects, including but not limited to:
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed October 21 2008.
National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement fact sheet: Calcium (9/23/2005). NIH Web site. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp. Accessed October 13, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309063507/html/index.html. Accessed October 21, 2008.
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