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Getting Calcium Supplement Timing Right For Your Osteoporosis Treatment

Calcium supplement timing is critical for absorption. As our bodies cannot absorb more than 500 mg of calcium at a time, it is best to take osteoporosis supplements several times a day-four to six hours apart.

  • Taking supplements with food improves absorption and reduces the risk of forming kidney stones. This is particularly important for people with low stomach acid, a condition that inhibits calcium absorption.
  • Supplementing calcium in the evening appears best for the circadian rhythm of bone loss.
  • Calcium supplements can inhibit iron absorption if eaten with foods containing high iron content.

As medications can affect calcium absorption (and visa versa) an optimal schedule might include the following:

  • BREAKFAST
    • No calcium if taking bisphosphonate medication (alendronate, Fosamax, ridedronate, Actonel, etidronate, Didronel) as it can inhibit the absorption of the medication. Raloxifene/Evista is the exception.
    • Vitamin D if a minimum of 800 IU are not available in your calcium supplements
  • LUNCH
    • First calcium supplement or high calcium meal
  • DINNER
    • Second calcium supplement or high calcium meal
  • BEDTIME
    • Third calcium supplement or calcium drink
    • Calcium taken at bedtime can stop bone loss that occurs at night-and may also have a calming effect.

If you are taking strontium supplements, take your strontium before going to bed and omit the bedtime calcium supplement.

DO NOT take your calcium supplement with your strontium.

"My calcium and vitamin tablets sit on the kitchen counter so that I remember to take them with meals. My strontium and thyroid medication are on my bed table. I take the strontium before going to sleep and take the thyroid medication in the middle of the night. This works like a charm for me!

And another trick that I use... I turn the tablet bottle upside down once I have taken a pill, so that in the morning I remember I have taken it.

Puritan's Pride Bone Care and Doctor's Best Strontium are shipped worldwide directly from the manufacturer for less than $150 USD annually.

To learn more about calcium supplement timing with inexpensive supplements... visit our best calcium page.