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Orange Juice and Calcium Absorption

By Jessica Bruso

Many Americans don't meet the recommended intake for calcium. One way to increase your calcium consumption is to drink calcium-fortified orange juice. Your body absorbs some types of calcium in orange juice better than others, however, so you may want to check the label of your orange juice if you're relying on it for meeting your calcium needs.

Types of Calcium

Supplemental calcium comes in a number of forms, some of which are better absorbed than others. Doctors sometimes advise patients taking calcium carbonate supplements to take them along with a glass of orange juice because this helps increase the amount of acid in the stomach and improve the absorption of this type of calcium. Of two types of calcium sometimes used to fortify orange juice, your body absorbs calcium citrate malate better than a combination of tricalcium phosphate and calcium lactate, according to a study published in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" in May 2005.

Calcium From Beverages

According to an article published in "Nutrition and Clinical Practice" in June 2007, calcium absorption from fortified juice isn't as high as that from milk. A study published in "Nutrition Research" in August 2005, however, found that the absorption of calcium from fat-free milk and calcium-fortified orange juice was basically the same at 35 percent and 36 percent, respectively. It also found that the calcium from a carbonated milk drink was even better absorbed, with a 46 percent absorption rate.

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