Calcium and magnesium, often working together, are vital to life. Both are found abundantly in healthful foods, but health challenges or diet restrictions may result in a need for dietary supplements. A combination of calcium and magnesium, especially in liquid form, can provide needed nutritional support for persons with specific health concerns or issues. Calcium and magnesium supplementation may be indicated when a health problem or condition causes an excessive loss of a mineral or limits its intake or absorption.
Your body needs calcium for mineralization of your bones and teeth. Calcium in your blood helps your muscles contract and relax, helps with blood clotting, transmission of nerve impulses and immune defenses. Calcium helps your body release hormones and enzymes needed for nearly every function in your body. Adults, aged 19 to 50 years, need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. Women over 50 years old require 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day because of their increased risk of osteoporosis. Adults absorb about 30 percent of the calcium they consume. Calcium absorption is best, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, when you consume no more than 500 milligrams at one time. The most appropriate calcium supplement depends on physical and chemical properties, potential interactions with medications and your medical condition.
Like calcium, magnesium supports bone mineralization, muscle contraction, nerve impulses and maintenance of your teeth and your immune system. Magnesium is also critical for enzyme systems, normal heart rhythm and for building protein. Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels, promote normal blood pressure and is involved in energy metabolism. More than 300 chemical reactions in your body require magnesium, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Adult males need 400 to 420 milligrams of magnesium per day and adult females need 310 to 320 milligrams per day. An additional 40 milligrams per day is needed during pregnancy. Approximately one-third to one-half of the magnesium you ingest with food and supplements gets absorbed by your body. Digestive disorders may significantly influence your magnesium status. Excessive loss of magnesium can be a side effect of certain diuretics, antibiotics and cancer medications.
Consume a healthful diet with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, dairy, whole grains and seafood to ensure adequate intake of calcium and magnesium. If you need supplemental intake of these minerals, taking a combined calcium and magnesium supplement can help provide the appropriate ratio of calcium and magnesium in appropriate amounts. Calcium and magnesium may also be provided in combination with vitamin D, vitamin K and supportive nutrients formulated for optimal bioavailability.
Liquid calcium and magnesium, usually provided as a liquid within a gel capsule, is easy to swallow. The gelcaps can be smaller than calcium pills and magnesium pills. Liquid calcium and magnesium increases both the rate of absorption and the amount of absorption. The convenience and ease of use of this form contributes to your ability to follow the prescribed protocol.
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium
- “Understanding Nutrition, Ninth Edition”; Eleanor Noss Whitney, Ph.D., and Sharon Rady Rolfes, M.S., R.D.; 2002