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All Calcium Supplements May Not Be Created Equal

Researchers from Harvard Medical School recently conducted a study which found that calcium supplements created from algae sources may be more effective for bone health than other common forms of the mineral.

They published their findings in the July 2010 issue of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.

The study involved a head to head comparison of calcium derived from algae and more common forms of calcium such as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate.

The researchers found a 2-2.5 times increase in alkaline phosphatase activity, which is a good measure of bone mineralization. They also found that the algae-derived calcium increased measures of new bone building by 3-4 times and calcium depositing by 1-4 times.

Prior to this study the widely held belief was that all calcium supplements performed relatively the same. Although further studies will be necessary to delve deeper into these new findings, opting for a calcium supplement made from algae sources may not be a bad idea.

The researchers also looked at the effects of combining the algae-derived calcium with vitamin D3. They found that co-administration with vitamin D3 increased the effectiveness of the calcium supplement.

You can get vitamin D in supplement form and many foods are fortified with the vitamin such as yogurt, milk, orange juice, cereals and margarine.

Studies have also shown that soy and vitamin K may be particularly helpful for bone health, especially among post-menopausal women.

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