lauraloolauraloo Posts: 2,121Registered Users
I've always heard that women of most ages and activity levels should take a calcium supplement. What's the general consensus on this? If it's worthwhile, is there a specific brand or formula that is better than others? Or is calcium just calcium? (Can I just take Tums?)

Also, what's the general consensus on taking an iron supplement? I took one in the past and felt great, and I've been feeling fatigued lately from my crazy schedule and have been thinking about starting it up again. I've been thinking about trying Floradix.

So, here's the dilemma. Are a calcium and iron supplement needed if one already takes a multivitamin? Or should I just take one or the other? My multivitamin (Women's One a Day) has 45% DV of calcium and 100% DV iron. I don't know a lot about calcium absorption so I don't know if 45% is adequate or if I could benefit from more. (I probably get more calcium from my diet, not a ton, but I was just talking about supplements). I do know that iron can build up which can be dangerous, but it is also poorly absorbed.

I am currently taking none of the above mentioned vitamins/supplements and hope to get some input. Anyone?
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    I get my iron mostly from dark green leafy vegetables and eggs. I do not drink milk or eat meat and I'm not anemic. I do take supplements but I have to made sure the iron is low in them (no periods = no way for my body to get rid of the excess iron). Calcium needs vitamin D to help your body properly absorb it. You body is able to make vitamin D thanks to the help of sunlight. Some people still don't get enough. I eat soy yogurt that has a lot of calcium and vitamin D (be careful with soy because it is a type of estrogen - I take it as part of a HRT).

    I also take a corral calcium supplement that has about 70 trace minerals. My body doesn't digest or absorb animal products well.

    I don't have specific values but I can tell you that I've taken all my supplements to my regular doctor and got the thumbs up for their values and helpfullness. PM and I will tell you about some of the supplements I take.
  • SnarlsSnarls Posts: 2,537Registered Users
    There's a thread in the Hair - 40s forum dedicated to calcium supplements.

    I still haven't found a calcium supplement that pleases me. I've tried about six.

    I worry about the same things you do (combining multivitamin with supplements and diet and also absorption). Since supplements aren't screened or regulated by the FDA I also worry about the source of the ingredients and the purity of the contents. Most brands do not disclose the source of calcium.

    Sardines have a lot of calcium and omega 3s, and little to no mercury.
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • 2happy2happy Posts: 5,138Registered Users
    Heres a link from Dr. Oz on what vitamins you should be taking and how much, broken down by age and sex. You can print if off and take it with you!
    Also, I remember hearing him say another time to take magnesium with your calcium to avoid constipation. :sad1:
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  • tinicurlydtinicurlyd Posts: 1,053Registered Users
    I take Calcium citrate with Vit D in it to help with absorbption. So far so good.
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  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users
    Recommendations I've seen for years is 1000 mg of calcium for women, 1500 mg of calcium for pregnant, lactating women and children daily
    I take mine in powdered form, mixed with warm water. The ratio of calcium to magnesium is roughly 2:1.
    There are disagreements as to what the ratio for calcium to magnesium should be. Some nutritionists are saying 2:1, others 1:1 and still others say 1:2.
    My body tells me I need closer to 1:1. However, when you add magnesium to the supplements you take, add it gradually as it will cause loose bowels. If your multivitamin does not have 1000 mg of calcium or magnesium in the proper ration for your body to that amount of calcium, it's ok to take an extra supplement to boost it. You will still get calcium from the foods you eat, so adjust accordingly.
    A good test for any vitamin to check if your body will absorb it is to put one pill in a glass of water. If it hasn't dissolved into the water within 24 hours, then your body won't absorb the nutrients.
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  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    Centrum multivitamin is safe, but a lot of other vitamins have been found to contain toxic substances, such as mercury.

    Healthy people usually don't need to take vitamins or other supplements. Aside from some exceptions (including calcium for women), you're just opening yourself up to ingesting dangerous substances without reaping any benefits.
  • SnarlsSnarls Posts: 2,537Registered Users
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    There's a link on the right side of the page where you can view a guide on how to select a supplement. The guide is very thorough (although when it tells you not to purchase supplements that may contain contaminants, it doesn't explain just how you're supposed to find that out).

    ConsumerLabs provides reports on supplements, but questions have been raised about results suppressed from its reports (supposedly if a supplement company pays to participate in a test, and results are poor, those results are suppressed) and its business practices.

    Supplements are a huge business right now. I hope for more oversight in the future, because it's a lot of work to research all this stuff and let's face it, when you buy a capsule about all you can tell is something powdery is in there. Could be anything. (yeah, I'm paranoid)
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)