Calcium & Magnesium Orotate Dietary Supplement - Reviews, Dosage
Calcium orotate is an exceptional calcium supplement designed to consolidate the skeleton. In the short term, it also helps normalise the nervous system and cardiovascular function. Its orotate form maximises its absorption and thus its efficacy.
Why take calcium in supplement form?
Of all the nutrients important for bone health, calcium is the most extensively-researched. Several studies have identified a correlation between increased intake of calcium and consolidation of bone mass. This mineral constitutes almost 2% of body weight, and is primarily concentrated in the bones and teeth.
Long-term benefits: it helps maintain the skeleton and reduce bone loss.
Short-term benefits: calcium also plays a key role in ensuring normal function of heart and nerve cells. It plays a role in hundreds of enzymatic processes involved in various physiological functions.
What is an orotate? What benefit does it offer?
Orotates are mineral salts of orotic acid, a natural substance present in the body and also found in several foods.
Calcium is always sold in the form of salts (citrate, malate, carbonate, lactate, gluconate, orotate …) but the quality of this salt can be crucial to the supplement’s efficacy. Calcium carbonate supplements are the most commonly-available products, and the cheapest, but they are poorly absorbed by those with lower-than-average levels of gastric acid, which is unfortunately the case for most people over 60. They can also cause constipation problems.
Of all the supplements available, those in which the calcium is bound to an organic acid, such as calcium orotate, definitely offer the best rates of absorption, usually over 40%. They are more expensive but they deliver the calcium right to the cell nucleus, enabling optimal mineralisation.
Who should supplement with calcium orotate?
Everyone can benefit from supplementing with calcium but the following population groups may find it particularly useful:
- Those over 40 (this is the age at which bone mass starts to decline, by around 1%-2% a year).
- Menopausal women (in the decade following the onset of the menopause, bone loss accelerates by 2%-3% a year due to the decline in oestrogen production).
- Those with a family history of osteoporosis-induced fractures.
- Women who do little or no exercise.
- Those suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (like Crohn’s).
How should you take Calcium Orotate ?
To see significant long-term effects, you need to take 3 capsules a day one with each main meal , (protein intake is important for calcium absorption) for a period of several months. The addition of magnesium to this formulation helps maximise the calcium’s absorption.
As it appears the body can only absorb a maximum of 500mg of calcium at a time, you’re strongly advised not to take the daily dose all in one go.
Note: people with a high intake of animal protein appear to have a greater requirement for calcium.
There are a number of additional steps you can take alongside calcium supplementation:
- supplement with other beneficial substances (orthosilicic acid, BMPs, …) or natural formulations like Super Boswellia and Vitamin D 5000 IU.
- make sure you frequently expose your skin to the sun;
- reduce your consumption of caffeinated drinks (as they encourage loss of calcium and thus bone resorption) ;
- take up or resume regular exercise (at a level appropriate for your physical condition).
Interactions to be aware of:
- avoid taking other mineral supplements at the same time;
- antibiotics, bisphosphonates, and thyroid hormones should be taken at a different time to calcium (a gap of at least two hours);
- diuretics, corticosteroids and heparin all increase our requirement for calcium.
What causes bone loss?
Osteoporosis is a natural process, primarily associated with ageing, which is characterised by a decrease in bone mass and density. It makes the bones more ‘porous’ and more vulnerable to fractures even from a simple fall. As this bone loss tends to be asymptomatic until you suffer a fracture, it is known as ‘the silent disease’. But what causes this loss of bone?
The bones in the human body undergo remodelling throughout our lifetime as a result of a dual process:
- A resorption phase during which specialised cells called ‘osteoclasts’ eat away at existing bone structures. This process results in repeated depressions on the bone’s surface (called ‘Howship lacunae’).
- A formation phase during which other specialised cells called ‘osteoblasts’ make new bone structures to fill in these depressions and replace the resorbed bone. Minerals then accumulate in the new bone matrix to optimise the bones’ mechanical resistance.
This two-fold process enables the body to remain in tune with its environment. Damaged bone is rapidly re-made and the body can even build stronger bones if the environmental conditions change (new physical activity, for example). However, it’s important for this dual process to remain in balance. If the resorption phase takes over or if the building blocks – such as calcium - are missing, the depressions are never filled in and the bones become dangerously fragile. This is exactly what happens with osteoporosis.
Why does the formulation contain magnesium?
Although magnesium is a minor constituent of bone, it is essential for vitamin D synthesis and the action of parathyroid hormone (PTH) (1-2). This facilitates active absorption of the calcium present in the digestive tract and assists in its resorption by bones. In other words, vitamin D cannot be used correctly by the body if magnesium levels are too low. The small amount of vitamin D circulating in the body (produced on exposure of the skin to the sun’s rays, or provided by the diet or supplements) is under-exploited. Magnesium is therefore vital for maintaining balance in the bones: any lasting shortfall is associated with osteoporosis and bone fragility.
The latest research findings on calcium
A high-salt diet plays a role in depleting calcium stores as sodium takes calcium with it when it is eliminated from the body in urine (2012) (3).
What has more of an effect on bone strength and resistance – nutrition or exercise? A team from the University of Michigan has concluded that it’s nutrition, though the two factors together are even more impactful (2018) (4).
This product should not be seen as a replacement for a varied, balanced diet or healthy lifestyle. Follow the recommendations for use and the daily dose and observe the use-by date. Not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for children under 15. Keep out of young children’s reach. Store in a cool, dry place.