What is the difference between calcium carbonate and calcium citrate


what is the difference between calcium carbonate and calcium citrate

Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are two common forms of calcium supplements, and they differ in several key aspects:

  • Calcium content: Calcium carbonate usually contains more elemental calcium per dose. It provides about 40% elemental calcium, while calcium citrate contains about 21%.

  • Absorption: Calcium citrate is better absorbed by the body, especially for people who have low stomach acid or who take acid-reducing medications. It can be taken with or without food, whereas calcium carbonate is better absorbed when taken with food because it requires stomach acid for optimal absorption.

  • Stomach problems: Calcium carbonate may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including constipation or gas, for some individuals due to its dependence on stomach acid. Calcium citrate is less likely to cause such problems.

  • Cost: Calcium carbonate is often less expensive than calcium citrate, making it a more cost-effective option for many people.

  • Size and dosage: Calcium carbonate tablets are large, so some people have difficulty swallowing them. Calcium citrate tablets are generally smaller, which may be beneficial for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets.

  • Taste: Calcium citrate is less chalky and may be easier to tolerate in liquid or chewable form for some people.

  • Medical conditions: Calcium citrate is often recommended for individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking medications that affect stomach acid. Calcium carbonate may not be suitable for people with a history of kidney stones as it may increase their risk of developing them.

  • Dosing Frequency: Due to the low calcium content and better absorption of calcium citrate, it may need to be taken in smaller doses more frequently throughout the day to reach the recommended daily calcium intake.

In short, the choice between calcium carbonate and calcium citrate depends on individual factors such as dietary habits, medical conditions and personal preferences. It is important to consult a health care professional to determine which form of calcium supplement is best suited for your specific needs.