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Calcium supplements are used by people to increase their intake of calcium, a mineral the body needs to make bones and teeth.
When you are choosing a calcium supplement, it is important to know the amount of elemental calcium in the recommended dose. Elemental calcium is the amount of calcium that is actually used by the body. Consumers are advised to look at the amount of elemental calcium in each tablet in a supplement, as opposed to the strength of each tablet, which includes other substances.
Types of calcium supplements include:
A person who takes calcium supplements should drink plenty of water and take other steps to avoid constipation.
Coral, bonemeal, oyster shell, and dolomite contain calcium naturally but may also contain heavy metals, particularly lead.
Last Revised: November 6, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
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