Vitamin C, found in abundance in many fruits and fruit juices, has low toxicity and numerous health benefits. Calcium, found in milk and other dairy products, is an important mineral that may reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis and other bone conditions. As some vitamins and minerals can negatively affect your body's ability to absorb others, it is important to know the possible interactions between such compounds as calcium and vitamin C.
Vitamin C and Calcium Absorption
Despite the numerous possible effects that different vitamins and minerals have on one another, there are no known negative interactions between calcium and vitamin C. In fact, according to the medical experts at Ask Dr. Sears, vitamin C may help to increase calcium absorption. As such, they recommend that you combine calcium supplements with a source of vitamin C. By drinking calcium-fortified orange juice, for example, you may be able to maximize your intake of both of these important compounds.
Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is mildly acidic. These acidic properties may make pure vitamin C supplements difficult to digest if you have a sensitive stomach. Calcium ascorbate combines ascorbic acid with calcium carbonate to neutralize the acidic properties of vitamin C. In addition to reducing your risk of experiencing digestive difficulties, this combination may also help to increase your calcium intake due to the effects of vitamin C on calcium absorption.
Vitamin C, Calcium and Bone Health
Both vitamin C and calcium play important roles in building, maintaining and preventing the degradation of bone. While calcium helps to form bones and may play a role in preventing osteoporosis, vitamin Cs role in collagen production makes it essential to the repair and maintenance of your bones and teeth. Collagen also helps to build, repair and maintain your skin, cartilage, tendons and ligaments, all of which are important to the healthy functioning of your bones. As such, taking calcium and vitamin C together may be the best way to build and maintain healthy bones.
While calcium and vitamin C may play complementary roles in your skeletal system, they have opposite effects on iron absorption that further add to the reasons why these two compounds should be taken together. By taking vitamin C, which aids iron absorption, with calcium supplements, which may hinder iron absorption, you may be able to minimize the negative effect of calcium on iron intake.