Introduction: DIY Calcium Citrate Supplement

Picture of DIY Calcium Citrate Supplement

Make your own calcium supplements at home from eggshells and lime juice.
Calcium Citrate (w'pedia) is one of the best types of dietary calcium.
Stephanie Simpson demonstrates how to make it.

Her mother had bone spurs. She started to get them. Her doctor advised her to get plenty of calcium. She did some research and started making her own this way.
Her bone spurs went away.

Step 1: Collect Ingredients and Tools

Picture of Collect Ingredients and Tools

You'll need the following:

If you don't have limes, any fruit with lots of citric acid such as lemons is probably fine as well.
If you don't have eggs, any source of calcium carbonate such as coral, seashells, limestone, or dolomite is probably fine.

Step 2: Concoct

Picture of Concoct

Put the egg in the cup. If the cup fits the egg well, you'll need less juice.
Juice your limes.
Pour the juice over the egg until it's covered or almost covered.
Cover the cup and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 3: Consume

Picture of Consume

In the morning the eggshell will be much thinner. The liquid will be cloudy.

If you leave it in longer, the eggshell completely dissolves leaving a naked egg. It's pretty amazing. Unfortunately I broke this one before I could take a picture.

Your calcium citrate is ready to use. Take a teaspoon per day.


KenM78 (author)2016-04-23

I just found this site, and looks like I'm 5 years behind at least! I'm fascinated with some of the ideas of making ones own vitamins and minerals, I believe some of the things we are fed of the shelf are 2nd rate at best, and often ruined before we get them. 'Soft Calcium' was something my father talked about, soft meaning it has not set yet and is still digestable, or so he said. Iv been shown certain parts of chop bones and other things that are not hard and brittle like other bones, apparently there is some value in these. Anyway, Ill start reading.


wolfkeeper (author)2011-04-29

Doh! I made this before and never even realised!

What I did was crushed a calcium tablet (calcium carbonate) into some fruit juice.

That neutralises the acid in the juice, and it's going to be better for your teeth, which was why I did it.

But the main acid is citric acid, so I was making calcium citrate, which means that the calcium is better absorbed as well.

I can get calcium carbonate pills for about a penny or two each, and it's probably easier than messing around with eggs.

shomas (author)wolfkeeper2015-06-22

"That neutralises the acid in the juice, and it's going to be better for your teeth, which was why I did it." Yup, its not going to rob your teeth of calcium.

"But the main acid is citric acid, so I was making calcium citrate, which means that the calcium is better absorbed as well." Studies have shown that In most cases the bioavalibility of calcium in calcium carbonate is the same as calcium citrate. The exception to that were patients that has bypass surgeries. When taken as calcium carbonate, it combines with the hydrochloric acid in your stomach forming calcium chloride, another salt of calcium with equal absorption rate as calcium citrate.

"I can get calcium carbonate pills for about a penny or two each, and it's probably easier than messing around with eggs" That may be so, but then what do you with your egg shells? In the garbage is such a waste when you already bought the eggs.

wolfkeeper (author)shomas2015-06-22

The eggs here aren't washed, so the shells are not clean, so I'm not going to use egg shells like that.

My mother uses egg shells to put around her plants to deter slugs and snails, so they're not wasted.

shomas (author)2015-06-22

This batch of calcium carbonate from egg shells weighs about 12 oz (no skins). Once fully converted to calcium citrate, it should weight roughly 4.25 pounds. Technically that is 4.25 lbs of tetrahydrate calcium citrate because it is hydrated.

dyanii (author)2011-04-23

How does this taste???!

kedwa30 (author)dyanii2011-04-25

Generally speaking, regardless of the calcium source it tastes the same. The acid in the lime juice is used up to dissolve the calcium so it is not tart like regular lime juice. Try it.

lotusduck (author)kedwa302011-05-15

No, that's not true. Calcium citrate is a salt, and this tastes both lemony and salty. This is from Wikipedia and my own subjective tastebuds.

bowmaster (author)2011-04-26

Could you use eggshells that you cracked to use the egg for other stuff?

stretch mark (author)2011-04-24

Thanks Tim!
I have been enjoying the benefits of my own eggshell elemental calcium for a couple of years. I save eggshells from cooking and then I grind my eggshells in a coffee grinder briefly. I have found a organic bottled 100% lemon juice that saves some time and money. I only use organic or local farm eggs. I have been using 1/2tsp powder with only very positive health effects. I keep the extra ground up eggshells in a jar in the freezer and from that make small batches in tiny jars. Sometimes the solution isn't completely broken down and that doesn't bother me.

Initially I had some concerns about dosage and had some problems with muscle cramps and I had to lower my dosage. I also found that this supplement is more beneficial taken with equal mgs potassium. I contacted the nutritionist whom originally inspired me to do this with my dosage problem. The following is their answer.

"It was difficult for me to find out the amount in one eggshell. There were so many amounts, differences, etc. - so because most people aren't going to get the very healthiest eggs, which are "certified organic" from free-range chickens that eat their natural diet including worms, insects, bugs, mice, etc. it was safe to assume it contains 1,800 mg of calcium.

The "elemental amount" is the amount absorbed, which is about 42-45% of the total mgs, i.e. 1,800 X 42% = 756 mg. You don't want to take any more than 500 mg of "elemental calcium" at a time since that's all our bodies can handle.

The powder was easy since 1 eggshell makes about 1 teaspoon of powder, so to get 400 mg per dose you take 1/2 teaspoon, but the liquid is more difficult."

.......I was still a little confused since I am using the very best eggs but have really noticed a great benefit since I now use 1/2tsp with 2-3oz. of lemon juice at 24 hours and I certainly am under the 500mg threshold. So much more fun than buying a pill. Even more fun if you know the chicken.....

kikiorg (author)stretch mark2011-04-26

Very helpful, thanx!

I take potassium by using salt substitute from the grocery. It's much cheaper. i find it helps me sleep when my brain is running like a squirrel.

As mentioned, talk to your doctor (like I do!)


msburny (author)2011-04-24

Does any one know if the calcium content is the same in brown eggs? That's all I get from my farmer friend down the road.

pwilson (author)msburny2011-04-24

The colour of the egg just tells you which chicken it came from. Different breeds lay different eggs. Different chickens will have variations within a breed, The same chicken will lay different coloured eggs in her lifetime. Some breeds lay darker eggs when they are young than when they are older.

The egg shell is made of calcium carbonate. Chickens require a huge amount of calcium in there diet as the eggs contain more calcium than their bones.

Egg colour comes from a coating on the egg. It is the first thing to come off when the egg is placed in acid. It in no way indicates the quality of the egg.

If you stand in supermarkets sorting out the coloured eggs because you won't buy white eggs or brown eggs, be assured. My hens lay eggs of white, cream, brown and even into purple, but they are equally good.

The best egg is the fresh egg.

pattyaitch (author)pwilson2011-04-24

Large chickens lay brown eggs, small chickens lay white eggs. I once had chickens that laid green, and violet eggs.

kikiorg (author)pattyaitch2011-04-26

It's the breed, not the size, that determines the color of the eggs. My understanding is chickens with white ears lay white eggs and red ears means brown eggs.

Here's a really awesome chicken breed chart!

Also, we have ducks that lay blue eggs. The blue is through-and-through, unlike brown. It was a shocker to open the egg and see it blue inside!

And, lastly, to get enough vitamin D, you have to have FULL BODY exposure for 1/2 hr in sunlight in the middle of the day. African Americans can require up to 8 times the exposure of fair people as well.

I had bare arms in the sun every day for an hour at 3pm and a blood test showed I was very low. I now take supplements. My doctor said that since it's oil soluble you can take a week's worth once a week, if you like. But get tested -- vit D looks to positively affect your cancer rate.

Thanx for the 'ible! I'm very excited to make our own!!


Kinnishian (author)pwilson2011-04-24

Really purple? Thats awesome!!

Wow! Purple, that would be very cool to see!

ARJOON (author)porcupinemamma2011-04-24

i've never seen one real in front of me

pattyaitch (author)ARJOON2011-04-24

Aracauna hens

Kinnishian (author)pattyaitch2011-04-24

I'm a fan. Those ear tuffs are bamf.

kedwa30 (author)msburny2011-04-25

At the very least, the size of the egg matters more than the color. If you want to determine the amount of calcium in your solution you can put in more egg shell than your acidic solution can completely dissolve of calcium and then when the reaction is complete, you can determine the approximate amount of calcium in the strained solution through high school chemistry techniques based on knowing how much acid was in your solution and how much calcium it would take to completely react with it. Don't ask me though. ?-)
Kill-A-Watt is definitely on the right track.
Another way is to save your egg shells and crush them then measure them by weight before dissolving and then measure the weight of the dried strained remains to determine the amount of calcium dissolved. The larger the batch you can make, the more accurate your measurements will be. Heck, this is an ible all in itself. How to measure calcium dissolved. Also the weight of the solution should be heavier after you have dissolved calcium into it, so you may be able to measure it that way.

DaveB13 (author)2011-04-25

Compulsive Wiki Googler Checks in, QUANTITIES:

Googling RDA Calcium:
varies 200 mg to 1,300 mg depending on age 6 months to 71 years and sex.

to find out what the Calcium weight in Calcium citrate is you'll have to
go to a chemistry text and find out about moles and how to translate them to grams (1 gram = 1000 mg , 1000 milligrams)

Oops, I take that back
"Calcium makes up 21% of calcium citrate by weight"
Multiply your RDA Calcium by 5 will give you calcium citrate quantity needed for RDA.

Suitable CHEAP small quanity Scales
I have both of these, the slightly cheaper one is a whole lot sexier looking
and is double capacity of the clunkier scale, by out of hand recollection
resolution for both is 0.1 gram (AKA 100 mg), the cheaper one is also smaller.


Dietary Reference Intakes: Electrolytes and Water
Apparently (g/d) is grams per day - 4.7 (g/d) POTASSIUM
50-70 year old male - 4,700 mg per day is current recommendation

For water (L/d) is almost certainly Liters per day
50-70 yar old male - 3.7 liters per day (about 1 gallon per day).
Health and dietary applications ... IMPORTANT!

RobFS1 (author)2011-04-25

Calcium Citrate is used in tofu, I believe.

pattyaitch (author)2011-04-24

I do know that dolomite is a very hard to assimilate calcium, not like citrate, which is the easiest. I don't know about limestone or sea shells. Dolomite has the proper ratio calcium to magnesium (which should always be 50% of the amount of calcium. Vit D is also needed. Egad~~~don't get me started.

kedwa30 (author)pattyaitch2011-04-25

That's the beauty of this... dolomite is hard to assimilate, but by dissolving it with the lime juice, you are converting it into calcium citrate. I think the point to this ible is to explain how to make your own calcium citrate.
This is a very important point you brought up about the ratio of Magnesium, and I would also like to include potassium as well. The body needs a particular ratio of the three minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and so long as the ratio remains balanced you will not suffer the adverse affects of having too much of one or not enough of one. The amount you consume is not nearly as important as the ratio of all three. Given that, the cramping reported from taking "too much" calcium citrate could be alleviated by increasing the potassium and magnesium intake as well rather than lowering the intake of calcium citrate.
That's another great insight about the vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to utilize the calcium and store it as bone. Without enough D, the amount of calcium you take is moot. It just won't do any good without all the building blocks at once. Luckily we can generally get enough vitamin D with about 15 minutes of direct sun exposure to an arm, or so I've heard. (Don't depend on this without verifying it.)

pattyaitch (author)kedwa302011-04-25

Thanks, I didn't realize that. Good to know.
I've been taking 5000 mg of D3 for a few years now. I follow the advice of the Vitamin D Council~~~Dr Connell. Actually, I do the minimum, what he recommends for kids 100# or more. Works for me, I never get a cold or 'flu.

PKM (author)2008-12-11

Could you use just eggshells by washing out the albumen-y goop and membrane bits, and dissolving them completely? I like the insides of eggs (scrambled with Tabasco, nom nom nom) but the shells go to waste in the absence of a compost heap or chickens.

kedwa30 (author)PKM2011-04-25

You can save yourself the trouble of cleaning them if you just microwave or boil the shells so that you won't be worried about contamination from microbes.

Lithium Rain (author)PKM2008-12-11

I don't know if it's true or not, but we don't feed our eggshells back to the chickens in the theory that they might get a taste for them and peck at their own eggs and break them.

Norm1057 (author)Lithium Rain2008-12-20

You are correct! To avoid this problem, always crush your shells so they wont associate the used shells with the good ones. This recycles the calcium back to the chicken making stronger egg shells without adding supplements!

tgrundle (author)Norm10572011-04-21

another good way to re-use egg shells is in a worm compost bin, worms will use crushed egg shells to chew ingested food (no teeth).

stasterisk (author)PKM2008-12-15

yes you can! get a bunch of egg shells & try this

kaizengirl (author)2011-04-24

ok, can I boil the egg. Peel it and eat the hard boiled egg, them disolve the left over shell?

kedwa30 (author)kaizengirl2011-04-25

Yes, this is how I prefer to do it.

Sweetgal (author)2011-04-25

Does the egg have to be hardboiled before doing this?
Or, do we put in a raw egg, and then eat the raw material+shell? :S

regentalltrades (author)2011-04-24

A word of caution ...consult with your doctor before consuming dietary supplements, excess calcium can cause kidney stones. ...verrrrrrry paaaaaiiiinful

The recommended calcium intake per day is 0.2 .. this instructable is recommending 5 times that amount.

kedwa30 (author)regentalltrades2011-04-25

Kidney stones are not caused by too much calcium. They are caused when the ph of your blood is altered from eating too much meat. The body attempts to correct the ph by leaching calcium from your existing bones and that calcium results in the kidney stones. The double whammy is that you also get osteoporosis from the leaching. If you get enough calcium in the diet, you may at least avoid one of these maladies, but the best way to avoid kidney stones is to not eat a high protein diet.

Unfortunately there are conspiracies to spread misinformation as well as other tactics in order to increase the incidence of preventable disease in order to control the population. See "Codex Alimentarius" for just one such conspiracy. Another is the fact that there is fluoride in the drinking water and hence fluoride in products whose ingredients include water, despite the evidence that fluoride is harmful when consumed.
It wasn't that long ago that doctors and dentists were recommending cigarettes, so it's not very wise to take their advice as truth either. Consult many opinions and live with your choices.

0.2 What? 0.2 eggs? 0.2 kgs?

Also, I could not see any recommendations in this instructable at all.

As well, one's intake of anything is completely dependent on the person. Please do not hand out nutritional advice.

(Typo) Correction .20 of a teaspoon that's 1/5

Dragon I'll quote it's on the last page the end

"In the morning the eggshell will be much thinner. The liquid will be cloudy.

If you leave it in longer, the eggshell completely dissolves leaving a naked egg. It's pretty amazing. Unfortunately I broke this one before I could take a picture.

Your calcium citrate is ready to use. Take a teaspoon per day."

..can you see it now?

..and just to recap on your remark about me giving nutritional advice's the author of this instructable that's doing just that, all I gave was a word of caution and to seek 'PROFESSIONAL' advise from a medical advisor first.

Now wouldn't you agree that would be the smart thing to do?

Many instrustables issue warnings, imo it was careless of the author not to issue one.

Ah yes, thanks for the clarification.

True, everyone should have some sort of 'caution' or 'note' stating as such.

I've been taking 1200 mg of Calcium citrate plus, for a few years now. How does that measure up to 0.2?

NaturalCrafter (author)2011-04-25

Thanks..I love using what we have available.

yng (author)2011-04-24

a raw uncooked egg?

profiteer (author)2009-02-02

What is formed when you add vinegar to eggs? I understand that the same thing happens to the egg, and I understand it wouldn't be the same compound, but could the left over stuff from the vinegar be used for the same purpose as the calcium citrate?

profiteer (author)profiteer2009-02-08

Maybe calcium acetate?

profiteer (author)profiteer2009-03-03

Although thinking about it now, making calcium acetate would probably taste bad

Kinnishian (author)profiteer2011-04-24

For specifics

Kinnishian (author)profiteer2011-04-24

Yeah, you're be reacting with acetic acid instead of citric acid (two different acids). The only thing is, I don't know if the acetic acid version is as digestible as the citric acid, because calcium is a hard element to absorb in the body (and citric acid is a particularly good source). moreover, vinegar is gross :)

jimmiek (author)2011-04-24

Just out of curiosity, since bones were mentioned above, could you also extract a digestable calcium from chicken, turkey, fish, lamb or beef bones in the same manner?

and1boyx (author)2011-04-24

Do we have to mix the raw (naked) egg from the lime?

About This Instructable




Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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