algaecal1Calcium Supplements for Your Parrot ~

It’s the age old question “Which kind of calcium is best absorbed by my bird?”

Machelle Pacion
Avian Nutrition Specialist

Here at Origins Wild Diet, we have been using “Brazilian Coral Calcium” for years knowing that it delivers readily absorbed calcium. Those who discovered this calcium once believed it was living coral washed up on the shores that simply began drying up from the sun. Upon further research the people who discovered this wonderful source of calcium found it to actually come from a rich source of algae that was washing up on the shores. This alga is a South American marine alga called lithothamnium superpositum. This source of calcium is now known asalgae calcium.” It contains over 70 trace minerals and phyto-nutrients including strontium and Vitamin K. It is wild-harvested by hand. Of course the company we purchase our algae calcium from adds Vitamin D3 to their capsules, but we purchase in bulk before they add the synthetic Vitamin D. Sources of Vitamin D we use in our Origins Wild Diet foods come from alfalfa and other natural plant sources.

Algae calcium is not calcium carbonate, it is not derived from rocks. It is not calcium citrate, gluconate, caltrate, or orate made in a laboratory. Algae calcium is purely plant-based and contains lots and lots of phyto-nutrients rocks do not contain and laboratories can only simulate. Even eggshells cannot begin to compete with this kind of calcium – eggshells do not contain Vitamin K or any other phyto-nutrient, nor is calcium carbonate from eggshells as well absorbed. Calcium carbonate holds one of the highest concentrations of elemental calcium (35-40%), but is not high in bioavailability and requires the production of extra stomach acid to be absorbed. This is clearly a problem for our captive birds considering most birds suffer low hydrochloric acid in their digestive tracts. The elemental calcium in algae calcium is about 30% but the bioavailability compared to other foods is anywhere from about 20% to 40% higher and it doesn’t require high stomach acid to be absorbed.

If calcium from substandard sources such as eggshells and other sources are not being absorbed where does that calcium go? It goes to arterial walls, small blood vessels, vessels in the brain, joints, and other soft tissues throughout the body and the kidneys. This calcium calcifies in all of these places causing atherosclerosis, dementia, arthritis, and kidney stones.

The thinking that our birds will absorb enough calcium purely from the high calcium-containing foods they consume is pure folly. Phytates and oxalates in raw, high fiber foods bind calcium unless the food is cooked. Cooking food causes a loss of valuable nutrition such as enzymes that help break down proteins into single amino acids for total and complete absorption, fatty acids, vitamins and some minerals. Do we really want our birds to lose much-needed nutrition simply to gain calcium? I don’t think so when we can use a calcium supplement that offers high bioavailability.

If you are feeding your flock Origins Wild Diet foods your birds are already receiving this supreme source of calcium along with the correct amount of magnesium which aids in the absorption of calcium. Medical science now believes the correct ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 1:1 or no more calcium than 2:1.  We do our best to keep the ratio at 1:1 in all of our foods. Medical science now understands that high amounts of calcium in the diet can potentially cause or add to atherosclerosis, arthritis and other soft tissue disorders, possibly even dementia disorders and seizures.

If you would like to add a supreme calcium supplement to your flock’s diet I suggest trying AlgaeCal Basic, but be absolutely sure you are also supplementing with enough magnesium in the diet. Great food sources of magnesium are mealworms, sprouted organic brown Basmati rice, sprouted pumpkin seed, sprouted sesame seed and sprouted watermelon seed. (We do not receive any commissions on your purchase of AlgaeCal)

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