Calcium info

At our Oct. 12 meeting, there was discussion of calcium supplements: I did a little WWW research, and came up with the following:

Though is owned and produced by SmithKline Beecham, they mention the FDA:

How can Tums. products be both antacids and calcium supplements?
Presently, with the exception of Tums. 500 which is solely a calcium supplement, the other varieties of Tums. bear dual usage information, i.e., for antacid relief and for calcium needs. This is permitted since the U. S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes and approves calcium carbonate as both an effective antacid and a safe and reliable source of calcium.

What is the best time to take Tums. as a calcium supplement?
For the best absorbency of calcium there is a need to space out your calcium tablets throughout the day. Studies have shown that calcium absorption from calcium carbonate, the calcium source in Tums., is best when taken with meals. Also as a matter of convenience and to establish a regular usage routine it is advised that Tums. be taken with meals, unless directed otherwise by your own physician.

Do antacids interfere with calcium absorption?
No. Although stomach acid is necessary for some forms of calcium to be absorbed into the body, antacids do not interfere with this process. Calcium supplements taken with meals find enough stomach acid for full absorption. Although calcium carbonate acts as an antacid, it can both neutralize the stomach acid and still be used by the body. Calcium carbonate supplements act as antacids and calcium carbonate antacids act as supplements. The available calcium is the same.

[The Os-Cal FAQ has "you're" instead of "your". That *really* bugs me.]'s bit about Calcium Citrate says:
Unproved speculated symptoms: Uncontrollable temper outbursts

Hmmmm.'s bit about OTC calcium supplements says:
How to Choose a Calcium Supplement In general, a calcium supplement is recommended for individuals who do not meet their daily requirements through diet alone. Choosing a national brand to ensure U.S.P. (United States Pharmacopoeia) standards are met is suggested so that dissolution and absorption is optimal. Bone meal or dolomite should be avoided, as they may contain toxic ingredients. There are three major choices for calcium supplements: calcium carbonate, calcium citrate and calcium phosphate.
Calcium carbonate contains the highest amount of elemental calcium. When properly taken, it is well absorbed. Calcium carbonate is probably the most cost-effective supplement. It must be taken on a full stomach to be properly absorbed, since hydrochloric acid is excreted in response to eating, which enhances absorption. In some individuals, calcium carbonate may cause gas or constipation. In such cases, increased fluid intake and increased activity are recommended. If these measures are unsuccessful, then switching to another calcium formulation is recommended. (Example: Tums, OsCal)
Calcium citrate is the most easily absorbed supplement and is 50% bioavailable. The only disadvantages are the higher cost and the lower percent of elemental calcium. Calcium citrate is the salt used to fortify breakfast cereals and orange juices. (Example: Citracal)
Calcium phosphate is a well-absorbed supplement that does not cause gas and constipation. It can be taken without regard to food. Calcium phosphate tends to be more expensive than calcium carbonate, but less expensive than calcium citrate. (Example: Posture)

One support group member also suggests: and

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Christine Jesensky Bennett,