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You Ask, I Answer: Calcium Carbonate in Vegan Beverages

Posted Sep 22 2010 12:26pm

Tums UltraI’ve noticed that most soy/almond milk has calcium carbonate, which someone once told me was like drinking concrete?

Is that true?  What is calcium carbonate, exactly?

– Kerra Olsen
(Via Facebook)

Calcium carbonate– an ionic salt –  is a very abundant compound; it’s found almost everywhere in nature, from snail shells to our planet’s crust.  It’s also the main component in Tums!

Yes, concrete (and chalk) are made from calcium carbonate, but that is not to say you are “eating concrete”.  After all, you can make paper mache paste from flour and water.  That does not mean, however, that a whole grain baguette is just a baked version of of it.

Most calcium supplements (and calcium-fortified foods, such as non-dairy “milks”) are made from calcium carbonate because it is the least expensive source.  Research also shows that its absorption is the highest.

Since calcium carbonate is best absorbed with meals, it only makes sense to use it to fortify foods.

No reason to panic or fear.  Calcium carbonate is a perfectly safe way to get your calcium, provided you don’t have certain conditions (kidney stones being the biggest worry).

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