Cloverdale Pharmasave Health Centre
5778 176A Street
Surrey, British Columbia
V3S 4H3
P: 604-576-2888
F: 604-576-2882
Store Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Statutory Holidays: CLOSED

Pharmasave Steveston Village
105 - 12420 No. 1 Road
Richmond, British Columbia
V7E 6N2
P: 604.232.0159
F: 604.232.0526
Store Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Statutory Holidays: CLOSED


The Smartest Calcium (MCHC/MCHA)

June 23, 2022

by Frederick Cheng, R.Ph., and Christine Cheng, R.Ph.

CALCIUM is important for more than just healthy bone and teeth. Adequate daily calcium intake is crucial to processes such as muscle contraction, normal heart rhythm, nerve function, blood clotting, and skin sebum production, to name a few. The main dangers of not having enough calcium in your diet is that the growth potential in kids may not be reached, and adults will be at higher risk for osteoporosis (ie. having weak, porous bones).

Typical minimum requirement across the ages is 1000mg daily in divided doses, with a usual max of 2500mg daily, dependent on your specific health needs. Dairy products, leafy green veggies (eg. kale, broccoli), fortified soy and dairy-free products, and canned fish are the most common dietary sources. Vegans and latose-intolerant individuals, as well as those with low thyroid, lack vitamin D, or kidney issues are at highest risk of calcium deficiency. If you cannot get enough through your natural diet, then you must supplement based on your needs.

Calcium carbonate is still a viable option for many people, as long as you take it with food and you have a healthy stomach acid balance; eg. if you are taking an acid-reducer, you may not be absorbing all the calcium in your calcium carbonate formulations. Oral calcium citrate dissociates much more readily and can be taken on an empty stomach; the calcium is absorbed more readily. Poor absorption of calcium may lead to chronic gassiness, bloating, and constipation.

The best absorbed and utilized form of calcium is microcrystalline hydroxyapatite complex (“MCHC” or “MCHA“), which contains not only calcium but all the minerals found in bone, including phosphorus and collagen. It is often of a bovine source and can be taken with or without food. Metagenics has had a stabilized form of MCHC for over 2 decades; the line is called Bone Builder. Their formulations are great if you want ease of fine-tuning, because they only contain MCHC with or without Vitamin D. AOR has 2 unique formulations, Bone Basics, and Ortho Bone, which utilize MCHC as a foundation but includes cofactors and trace minerals (such as boron, MK4/MK7 K2) to not only absorb the calcium, but also direct it to the bones and appropriate tissues. Ortho Bone adds to the Bone Basics by having silica as a precursor for collagen, which helps maintain a flexible webbing in the lattice structure of healthy bone; there is also B12 and folate which help minimize bone loss by maintaining optimal homocysteine levels in the body.

Have a detailed chat with your integrative physician and pharmacist team for a proper assessment of how much calcium you need and whether your body has a calcium deficiency. The teams at Cloverdale Pharmasave and Pharmasave Steveston Village can help you choose the most appropriate form of calcium based on your budget and specific concerns.

AOR Ortho Bone 300 capsule plastic container
Order AOR Ortho Bone online HERE

Fred and Christine Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Find them on Instagram and Facebook! Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.

Articles, Q&A, blog posts and all materials submitted for publishing is the intellectual property of Cloverdale Pharmacy Ltd – reproduction in part or whole, in print or online, without written consent and permission is prohibited.

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