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What Are the Benefits of Calcium Ascorbate?

by
author image Robin Wasserman
Robin Wasserman has been writing and prosecuting biochemical patents since 1998. She has served as a biochemical patent agent and a research scientist for a gene-therapy company. Wasserman earned her Doctor of Philosophy in biochemistry and molecular biology, graduating from Harvard University in 1995.
What Are the Benefits of Calcium Ascorbate?
Calcium helps build strong bones. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Overview

Both calcium and vitamin C are important for proper health. Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth, and vitamin C boosts your immune system. Unfortunately, vitamin C, when taken alone, can deplete calcium stores in your body, and can often be too acidic to be tolerated by people with sensitive stomachs. Calcium ascorbate overcomes these problems.

Less Acidic

Calcium ascorbate combines ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, with the mineral calcium into a single pill. This natural form of vitamin C is a neutral salt, not an acid. Digesting calcium ascorbate in your stomach releases calcium and the ascorbate ions. The acid in your stomach converts the ascorbate ions into ascorbic acid, resulting in no net increase in the acid concentration in your stomach. This is particularly beneficial for people with sensitive stomachs and for the severely ill, who may be weak and nauseated but most in need of vitamin C and calcium supplementation. In addition, calcium ascorbate can be taken at higher doses with decreased side effects seen with vitamin C supplementation alone, including loose stools and stomachaches.

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Convenient

Combining two supplements into one pill provides convenience. When you need two different types of vitamin and mineral supplementation, swallowing one pill is easier than swallowing two. In addition, buying one pill that satisfies both needs is more cost-effective than buying two separate pills.

Possible Increased Calcium Absorption

Vitamin and mineral supplementation often falls short because your body is unable to absorb the nutrients in the form provided by the supplement. Because calcium ascorbate is a natural form of vitamin C, it has been suggested that much more vitamin C is absorbed in the bloodstream than the other forms. However, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, the only published study in humans addressing this issue found no difference between a commercially available calcium ascorbate and ascorbic acid tablets in terms of vitamin C absorption. However, according to Dr. Sears, a well-known pediatrician and the author of several medical books, the reverse may be true; vitamin C may actually improve the absorption of calcium.

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References

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