Magnesium Citrate and Calcium Citrate
Magnesium Intakes and Status
Dietary surveys of people in the United States consistently show that intakes of magnesium are lower than recommended amounts. An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005–2006 found that a majority of Americans of all ages ingest less magnesium from food than their respective EARs; adult men aged 71 years and older and adolescent females are most likely to have low intakes. In a study using data from NHANES 2003–2006 to assess mineral intakes among adults, average intakes of magnesium from food alone were higher among users of dietary supplements (350 mg for men and 267 mg for women, equal to or slightly exceeding their respective EARs) than among nonusers (268 mg for men and 234 for women). When supplements were included, average total intakes of magnesium were 449 mg for men and 387 mg for women, well above EAR levels.
No current data on magnesium status in the United States are available. Determining dietary intake of magnesium is the usual proxy for assessing magnesium status. NHANES has not determined serum magnesium levels in its participants since 1974, and magnesium is not evaluated in routine electrolyte testing in hospitals and clinics.
Habitually low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because mineral homeostasis is disrupted. [i]
What is the difference between calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, and other forms of calcium supplements?
The main difference between various calcium supplements is the form of calcium they contain, and one isn’t necessarily better than another for you. The two most common forms are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate is absorbed best when taken with food. Calcium citrate is more expensive, but it’s absorbed well on an empty or a full stomach. In addition, people with low levels of stomach acid (which is more common in people age 50 and older) absorb calcium citrate more easily than calcium carbonate.
One of the most important things to consider about calcium supplements, aside from the form of calcium, is how much to take at one time. The body absorbs calcium best in doses of 500 mg or less at a time. So, for example, if you take 1,000 mg of calcium from supplements per day, you might split the dose and take 500 mg at two separate times during the day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.