Guide to Minerals: Calcium and Magnesium

Role in the body: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is found primarily in the skeleton where it helps build and support bones and teeth. Other important functions dependent on calcium include muscle contraction, regulation of heartbeat, and blood clotting. Inadequate calcium intake leads to bone loss and, eventually, osteoporosis. In children, a calcium and vitamin D deficiency may lead to rickets which causes bone deformities and growth retardation. Low calcium levels may also cause muscle spasms, leg cramps, and can contribute to high blood pressure. Recommended Intake: 1000-1300 mg/day for adults.2

Food Sources: Good food sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, legumes and even leafy greens.

Nearly 50% of Americans do not meet the recommendation for this bone-essential mineral.1 Calcium supplements may help meet this mineral shortfall, and there are different forms of calcium, such as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate.2

Calcium carbonate is best absorbed and tolerated when taken with food in divided doses throughout the day. Sensitive individuals who experience stomach upset (constipation, bloating) with calcium carbonate may better tolerate the calcium citrate form.3 Calcium citrate is optimally absorbed when taken without food. Also, for individuals on acid-reducing medication, calcium citrate is a good option since it does not require stomach acid for absorption.2,3 Consult with a healthcare professional to choose a calcium supplement that best meets your individual needs.

Calcium supplements are often combined with other nutrients such as vitamin D and magnesium that offer additional benefits.

Role in the body: Magnesium is a very important mineral in the body, and is commonly identified as an electrolyte. It is touted for its role in maintaining mineral balance, since magnesium works hand-in-hand with calcium. Magnesium is also involved in over 300 essential metabolic functions making this mineral a key player in energy metabolism. Some of the most important are:

Cellular Energy Production
Magnesium is necessary to breakdown the food we eat, particularly carbohydrate and fat into cellular energy. Magnesium is required by cells to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s main source of energy.

Muscle & Nerve Health
While approximately 60% of magnesium is found in bone structure, an important portion is found in the bloodstream (extracellular fluid) where it helps support proper muscle contractions and nerve function.

Recommended Intake: 320 – 420 mg for adults4
Food sources: Common food sources of magnesium are whole grains (brown rice, oat bran, whole wheat), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and beans.

Unfortunately, 60% of American adults do not consume adequate amount of this mineral.1 If you do not consume enough of these magnesium-rich foods, a supplement may be beneficial. Some populations need magnesium supplementation due to certain medications or health conditions. In either case, it’s always best to talk to your health care professional to determine if magnesium fits into your daily supplement regimen.

Nature Made offers a variety of calcium and magnesium supplements in tablet and softgel forms to suit your needs, as well as different sensory forms to please your taste buds! Nature Made Calcium Adult Gummies and VitaMelts® are two delicious ways to get your daily dose of calcium. Calcium + D3 VitaMelts® are fast melting tablets that simply dissolve right on your tongue with no water and come in a creamy raspberry flavor. Both are convenient and tasty ways to take your calcium each day!

1.Fulgoni et al. Food, Fortificants, and Supplements: Where Do Americans Get Their Nutrients? J Nutr. 2011; 141:1847-54.
2. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2011.
3. Straub DA. Calcium supplementation in clinical practice: a review of forms, doses, and indications. Nutr Clin Pract. 2007;22:286-96. [PubMed abstract]
4. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dietary reference intakes for calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D and fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.