Calcium is the most popular mineral supplement on the market, yet certain forms of calcium tablets are often poorly absorbed by the digestive systems of older people because of insufficient stomach acid.6 The Life Extension Foundation Buyers Club supplies calcium and almost all other mineral supplements only in the form of finely divided mineral powders within capsules that easily disintegrate in the stomach for optimal absorption. Studies have also shown that certain mineral compounds are absorbed better than others.7-10
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body where it is primarily found in bones and teeth. In bone formation, calcium forms crystals that provide strength to maturing bone. Peak bone mass is usually achieved when people are in their 20’s.
Calcium is needed for more than just healthy bones. It is also important for muscle contraction, blood vessel contraction and expansion, the secretion of hormones and enzymes, and sending messages through the nervous system. A meta-analysis of 56 clinical trials demonstrated a significant impact on heart health resulting from increasing calcium intake by 1000 to 2000 mg/day.11 In addition, recent evidence suggests that increased intake of calcium may help in weight control as well.12-15
Calcium and other minerals are best not taken with fiber, because fiber can interfere with their absorption.1-5 There is evidence that calcium from supplements and dairy foods may inhibit iron absorption, although it has been very difficult to distinguish between the effects of calcium on iron absorption versus other inhibitory factors such as phytate.27
Therefore, if you are iron deficient, it may be best to avoid taking calcium with meals.28 Calcium supplements are best administered at dinner and/or bedtime. They should always be taken with a full glass of water, juice, or other liquid to enhance solubility.29 If calcium-containing formulas are taken only once daily they may be best taken in the evening.30
Magnesium is one of the body’s most important minerals. It is required as a co-factor in hundreds of enzymatic processes within cells.16 It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.* Magnesium also helps to maintain blood sugar and blood pressure levels already within normal range, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.17,18*
Magnesium is a major factor in relaxing the smooth muscles within the blood vessels, thereby reducing peripheral vascular resistance and promoting a healthy cardiovascular system.19-21* Magnesium also affects circulating levels of norepinephrine and the synthesis of serotonin and nitric oxide.16,22-24
In bone mineral health, magnesium (or lack of) influences the bone mineral matrix and its ability to metabolize minerals needed for repair and rebuilding.25, 26 The scientific literature documents the need for a wide range of minerals that are vital to maintaining strong, healthy bones.*
Magnesium is crucial for maintaining arterial health, already normal blood pressure, and already normal heart rhythm.74-84* Many Americans do not obtain adequate amounts of magnesium in their diets.85 Although Life Extension Mix™ contains a high amount of magnesium, many people may wish to take additional magnesium and other minerals as a “booster” to Life Extension Mix™.