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Applications: Vital for strong bones and teeth and to maintain regular heartbeat. Calcium also lowers the risk of colon cancer and protects against osteoporosis. Calcium also helps to prevent muscle cramping and calms the central nervous system. Organic forms are recommended for maximum absorption.

Sources: Dairy products, tofu, spinach, kale, turnip greens, cabbage, collards, mustard greens.

Interactions: Taking high doses of magnesium, zinc, or oxalates can interfere with calcium absorption. If doses are balanced, calcium works synergistically with magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K. Aluminum containing antacids can boost calcium excretion and are not recommended.

Recommendations: Some calcium supplements have been associated with high lead content. In general using supplements which combine calcium citrate, gluconate and carbonate can be effective. Calcium carbonate is found in over-the-counter antacids; however, by itself, it is not the most absorbable variety. Calcium chelates are absorbed more readily. Calcium citrate, lactate, aspartate and orotate are assimilated better than calcium carbonate or calcium from oyster shells or bone meal.

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