Best Calcium Supplements: Top 10 Brands Reviewed

Best Calcium Supplements

The most abundant mineral, calcium, is stored primarily in the teeth and bones. Unfortunately, many people do not eat the necessary amount to ensure they get the calcium their body needs. Thus, calcium supplements are a convenient way to get the needed amounts of calcium.

When a person does not consume enough calcium-rich foods, the body pulls calcium from the bones, which can weaken their bones and teeth. Additionally, because calcium is pulled from the bones so often, the bones in the body are replaced every decade.

However, patients should understand that calcium is needed for other things in the body, including blood clotting, muscle contractions, hormone secretion, and optimal nerve transmission. Calcium that is circulated in the blood helps balance the body's pH level.

When the pH balance becomes disrupted in the body, sleep difficulties, pain, heart disease, edema, high blood pressure, weakness, fatigue, and decreased immunity can occur.

Best Calcium Supplements Top 10 Brands Reviewed

What Are the Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

  • Osteoporosis is when bones become fragile due to a calcium deficiency.
  • When calcium is pulled from the teeth, tooth decay may occur.
  • A calcium deficiency can cause muscle tension and cramping to occur.
  • When the body does not have enough calcium, the pH level in the body can become imbalanced and lead to high blood pressure and heart rhythms
  • Weak bones and Bone fractures
  • Problems with proper blood clotting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Delays in children’s growth and development

The body needs several vitamins and minerals to absorb calcium properly. These include vitamin Dvitamin K, and magnesium. In order to ensure the body is able to assimilate and use calcium, you must consume foods that contain these important nutrients when you eat calcium.

The recommended daily allowance for calcium depends on the age of the person. For example, adults under the age of 50 should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. After the age of 50, adults should increase their daily calcium intake to 1,200 milligrams.

10 Best Calcium Supplements

Here is the list of the top 10 calcium supplements tested and approved by two independent labs. The ranking starts from bottom to top (#10-#1), make sure to check out the #1 spot in this ranking.

Unfortunately, I can not cite the data from the tests because the first lab does not allow citing data from their lab tests (but it is one that anyone knows it), and the second lab is with a paid monthly subscription, and again I am not authorized to share the tests.

However, I have researched the products before posting them here. Some of them I have tried myself in the past.

Liquid Cal-600

by Carlson Labs

Carlson - Cal-600, 600 mg Calcium, Bone Support, Healthy Teeth & Optimal Wellness, 250 Softgels

Product Overview

  • Dietary supplement;
  • Calcium 600 mg;
  • An F.D.A. regulated facility;
  • Potency and quality guaranteed;
  • Softgel easier to swallow and digest.

What Is Carlson Labs Liquid Cal-600

The quality and potency of this dietary supplement containing 600 mg calcium are guaranteed as it produced by an F.D.A. regulated facility. Being in the form of a soft gel, it is easy to swallow and digest.

Calcium maintains healthy and strong teeth, and bones and other minerals improve the processing of tissues and blood and the functioning of the nervous system.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 600 mg calcium per capsule;
  • Soft gels = easy to swallow;
  • 30 extra free soft gels;
  • 130 soft gels per bottle = 130/65 days intake;
  • Great price for the value.

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • The calcium used in this product is carbonate. The carbonate form has very low bioavailability. This means that it is not likely to be absorbed by the body at its full quantity.

How to Use This Product

Take one soft gels once or twice daily at mealtime.

Bottom Line:

I won't suggest buying it as I would never buy it myself. I will always advise you to buy the best bioavailable form of supplements that you can afford.

Why? Because even if you take less, the highest quantity will still be absorbed by your body. And this where most people fail when taking supplements.

Calcium Citrate

by NOW Foods

NOW Supplements, Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese, 250 Tablets

Product Overview

  • Supports bone health;
  • Bone metabolism formula with minerals & vitamin D;
  • Highly bioavailable calcium;
  • Non-GMO;
  • Vegetarian/vegan;
  • Kosher;
  • Minerals.

What Is Now Foods Calcium Citrate

This non-GMO dietary supplement contains highly bio-available calcium along with bone metabolism formula, vitamin D-2 and minerals to support bone health. This GMP quality assured Kosher supplement is owned by vegetarian families since 1968 as it contains minerals and vegan ingredients

The absorbed form of calcium in this Calcium Citrate is a readily digestible as it is necessary for maintaining bone health. It also includes magnesium, Vitamin D, manganese, copper, and zinc for improving the metabolism of bones.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 600 mg calcium per capsule;
  • Calcium citrate form = high absorption;
  • 250 capsules per bottle = 125 days intake;
  • Added Vitamin D, Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium - minerals, and vitamins highly important to our bodies;
  • Vegetarian/Vegan formula;
  • Great price for the quantity and quality.

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • I see no cons except the used forms of vitamin d and magnesium, which are not my favorite. However, they are not the primary product.

How to Use This Product

Take 2 tablets daily, preferably in divided doses, with food.

Bottom Line:

I've used this product for years. It's on my budget, lasts for long, and I would definitely recommend it to my audience.

Calcium Citrate

by Nature's Way

Nature's Way Calcium Citrate Complex, 500 mg per Serving, 250 Capsules

Product Overview

  • Premium quality;
  • Supports bones and muscles;
  • Certified potency.

What Is Nature's Way Calcium Citrate

This premium quality dietary supplement includes malate and carbonate to take care of your muscles and bones. It is a synonym to Trust the Leaf as its natural healing power supports longevity and health.

Calcium in it supports muscle function and develops bone and teeth properly, and carbonate and malate optimize the use and absorption of calcium in the body.This calcium citrate supplement is produced and tested to the standards of certified quality.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 500 mg calcium per capsule;
  • Calcium citrate form = high absorption;
  • 250 capsules per bottle = 125 days intake;
  • Added calcium malate;
  • Great price for the quantity and quality.

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • They have used and carbonate in this product, which is not the best form of calcium.

How to Use This Product

Take 2 capsules twice daily, preferably with food.

Bottom Line:

I have to admit that I have never used this product before. Mainly because I prefer one form of the supplement per formula (unlike the wine, I prefer blended wine, but it's another story). As long as the product's main calcium form is citrate (as I believe it is), the product is good.

Calcium + 1000 IU Vitamin D3

by Nature's Bounty

Calcium & Vitamin D3 by Nature's Bounty, Immune Support & Bone Health, 1200mg Calcium & 1000iu D3, 220 Softgels

Product Overview

  • Supports bone health;
  • May reduce the risk of osteoporosis;
  • Mineral supplement;
  • Guaranteed quality;
  • Laboratory tested.

What Is Natures Bounty Coral Calcium

This mineral supplement may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, along with supporting bone health. It is tested in the laboratory to guarantee its trusted quality for more than 40 years.

Nature's Bounty is committed to caring for your health as they are making guaranteed and trusted products made of purest ingredients and supported by science for over 40 years so that you can get the most out of your daily life.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 600 mg calcium per capsule;
  • 120 capsules per bottle = 120 days intake;
  • Added Vitamin D (as D3 Cholecalciferol) - 1000 UI - great quality and a good quantity of Vit D.

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • The calcium used in this product is carbonate.

How to Use This Product

For adults, take two (2) softgels daily, preferably with a meal.

Bottom Line:

Well, I have never used this one before because you already know my opinion about the carbonate form.

Food-Based Calcium with Magnesium & Vitamin D3

by Rainbow Light

Rainbow Light - Food-Based Calcium - Supports Bone Density, Muscle Relaxation, & Calcium Absorption - 180 Tablets

Product Overview

  • #1 Natural multivitamin brand;
  • Supports bone density and muscle relaxation;
  • Promotes enhanced absorption and utilization;
  • Gentle on the stomach with whole foods;
  • Gluten-free;
  • Dairy-free;
  • Dietary supplement;
  • BPA-free bottle.

What Is Rainbow Light Calcium with Magnesium and Vitamin D3

This calcium supplement is from the number one Natural Multivitamin Brand. It offers the same formula in a new look to support your muscle relaxation and bone density. It is gentle to your stomach if taken with whole foods to enhance calcium absorption.

This food-based gluten and dairy-free dietary supplement are available in BPA free bottle. It can help in relaxing your muscles and building bones with one tablet a day.

It contains 500 mg calcium exactly required by your body along with other factors required for using and absorbing calcium and digesting whole foods. 2:1 ratio of calcium and magnesium in it helps in building and strengthening teeth and bones.

500 IU vitamin D3 supports bone flexibility and muscle relaxation. Food-based magnesium and vitamin D3 help in improving the use and absorption of calcium. This whole foods organic spirulina betaine mineral-rich supplement can be taken between meals being gentle on the stomach.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 500 mg calcium per capsule;
  • 90 capsules per bottle = 90 days intake;
  • Gluten-Free | Dairy-Free - for the lactose and gluten intolerant, I have no problems with the gluten and the lactose;
  • BPA-Free Bottle - great!
  • Added Magnesium, Vitamin D, Betaine HCI, Stinging Nettle [tops], Horsetail [whole herb], Organic Spirulina - all good stuff (and popular lol). Seriously, it is good adding. Like a drop of ketchup on chicken breasts when I am on a diet.

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • I see some oxide and carbonate.

How to Use This Product

Take one tablet per day, with or between meals, for general health. May take 2 per day in divided doses for advanced usage.

Bottom Line:

I have used this product, and it is fine. Worth trying.

Calcium Supplement + D3

by Citracal

Citracal Maximum, Highly Soluble, Easily Digested, 650 mg Calcium Citrate with 500 IU Vitamin D3, Bone Health Supplement for Adults, Caplets, 180 Count

Product Overview

  • #1 Doctor and pharmacist; recommended calcium brand;
  • Slo-cal technology;
  • Slowly and continuously releases calcium supplements for efficient absorption;
  • 1200 mg of calcium;
  • 1000 IU of vitamin D3.

What Is Citracal Calcium with D3 Slow Release

This supplement in new-look contains highly soluble and easily absorbable calcium citrate. The small size of its tablets allows you to swallow them easily.

This calcium supplement, recommended by pharmacists and doctors, includes calcium citrate and high-level vitamin D3 to defy the aging of bones. It can reduce the risk of osteoporosis if taken as part of a balanced diet throughout life.

The calcium citrate contains different forms of easily absorbable and highly soluble calcium, which can be taken with or without food.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 400 mg calcium per 2 tablets;
  • 200 tablets per bottle = 100 days intake;
  • Added Vitamin D;
  • Small tablets = easy to swallow;
  • It can be taken with or without food.

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • I see no cons here.

How to Use This Product

Take 1 serving (2 caplets) once daily in the morning with food.

Bottom Line:

Being honest, as this is the top 10 calcium supplements list for 2019, I've never heard of this brand before I saw it in one of the lab's tests.

They are lab-tested means that this brand is trustable and worthy. I will definitely try it in the near future.

Calcium + Magnesium + Zinc

by Solaray

Solaray, Calcium Magnesium Zinc Amino Acid, 250 Veg Capsules

Product Overview

  • Dietary Supplement.
  • With full range amino acid chelates.

What Is Solaray Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc

This dietary supplement contains the full range of chelated amino acid along with other minerals - magnesium, zinc, and calcium essential for general health.

Calcium is important to maintain muscle contraction, the transmission of nerve impulses and healthy teeth and bones. Magnesium, along with zinc, is involved in the various enzyme-based reaction in the body, along with making teeth and bones.

It also intends to provide nutritional support to a healthy heart, nerves, circulatory system, and muscles. Zinc is also important for the normal structure of cell membranes and for the functioning of the immune system.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 500 mg calcium per 2 tablets;
  • 250 tablets per bottle = 125 days intake;
  • Added Zinc and Magnesium;
  • Used chelate and citrate forms - one of the best absorbed by our body;
  • Great price for the value.

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • They have used oxides and carbonates.

How to Use This Product

Use only as directed. Take four vegetarian capsules with a meal or glass of water.

Bottom Line:

Solary is a good brand that I am a fan of. This calcium product, in particular, is ranked under number #4, so I guess it is worth the money.

Calcium Citrate Mini-Tablets

by Rainbow Light

Rainbow Light Calcium Citrate Mini-Tablets

Product Overview

  • #1 Natural multivitamin brand;
  • Food-based formula;
  • Most recommended form of calcium;
  • Vitamin D and foods for enhanced absorption;
  • Easy to swallow, magnesium-free;
  • Vegetarian;
  • Gluten free;
  • Multi-mineral supplement;
  • BPA-free bottle.

What Is Rainbow Light Calcium Citrate Mini-Tablets

This food-based calcium product has been introduced with the same formula in a new look. It contains the most recommended form of calcium along with Vitamin D and other foods to enhance its absorption.

This easy to swallow product is vegetarian and free from gluten and magnesium. This multi-mineral supplement is available in BPA-free bottles.

Four small tablets of this supplement contain 80% of the calcium recommended by the physicians to have every day in the form of calcium citrate along with boron, vitamin D3, horsetail, and organic superfood spirulina to improve calcium absorption.

For those who are sensitive to magnesium or take high magnesium diets, it has been made magnesium free. It is vegetarian being free from sugar and major allergens.

800 mg calcium in it ensures to promote teeth and bone strength. 800 IU vitamin D3 in it enhances natural energy and calcium absorption.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • Claimed to be #1 Natural Multivitamin Brand (because it is a food-based formula);
  • 800 mg calcium per 4 tablets;
  • 120 tablets per bottle = 30 days intake;
  • Mini-tablets easy to swallow;
  • Added vitamin D3, boron, organic superfood spirulina and horsetail to enhance absorption;
  • BPA-free bottles;
  • Great price for the value (contains some cool turbo ingredients according to the modern healthy lifestyle).

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • I see no cons here.

How to Use This Product

Take 2-4 mini-tablets daily, with or between meals. Can be taken up to 2 at a time.

Bottom Line:

I have used Rainbow products many times, and I am a 100% satisfied Rainbow customer. You should try their Vitamin C slices too!

Calcium and Magnesium with Vitamin D3

by Solgar

Solgar - Calcium Magnesium with Vitamin D3, 300 Tablets

Product Overview

  • Highly absorbable calcium citrate form;
  • Promotes healthy bones;
  • Supports nerve & muscle function;
  • Promotes colon health;
  • Gluten, wheat & dairy free;
  • Kosher parve.

What Is Solgar Calcium Magnesium With Vitamin D3

It includes calcium citrate in the highly absorbable form to promote bones’ health, muscle functions, and support nerves along with colon health. It is Kosher Parve dietary supplement being free from dairy products, gluten, and wheat.

The building blocks provided by calcium help in keeping your teeth and bones healthy and strong. It also takes care of the heart, colon, nervous system, and musculoskeletal problems.

Magnesium in this product helps in the transportation of calcium and stimulation of the secreted hormone, calcitonin, which helps in the absorption of calcium into your bones.

Magnesium also produces the energy required for most physical reaction by working with ATP. Another important role it plays in the formation of protein and healthy functioning of muscles.

Vitamin D helps in maintaining healthy teeth and bones, along with improving calcium absorption. It also helps in making various tissues and immune systems healthy, including the tissues of the colon, prostate, and breasts.

It can also improve the muscle strength of elderly adults through the daily supplementation of natural Vitamin D3 provided by this formula. Calcium can reduce the risk of osteoporosis when taken in combination with physical activity and a healthy diet.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 1000 mg calcium per 5 tablets;
  • 300 tablets per bottle = 60 days intake;
  • Mini-tablets easy to swallow;
  • Added vitamin D3 and magnesium;
  • Provided in a glass bottle (actually, all of their supplements are in glass bottles);
  • Kosher Parve dietary supplement (free from dairy products, gluten, and wheat).

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • The only cons a customer may see is the price. Solgar's brand is one with the highest quality supplements. Their prices are usually slightly higher than some other brands, but the supplements are always sharp.

How to Use This Product

As a dietary supplement for adults, take five (5) tablets daily, preferably with a meal. May be distributed throughout the day.

Bottom Line:

I have used this supplement before. Solgar is a great brand. Right now, I am even testing Solgar Vitamin E. I will highly recommend this product to my audience.

Calcium Citrate + Magnesium and Vitamin D3

by Bluebonnet Nutrition

Bluebonnet Nutrition Calcium Citrate Magnesium Plus Vitamin D3 Caplets, Bone Health & Muscle Relaxation, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Milk Free, Kosher, 180 Caplets

Product Overview

  • Made with non GMO ingredients;
  • High potency calcium citrate;
  • Dietary supplement;
  • Gluten free;
  • Kosher parve.

What Is Bluebonnet Calcium Citrate Magnesium and Vitamin D3

Bluebonnet's Calcium Citrate Magnesium Plus Vitamin D3 Caplets is a calcium-based dietary supplement that includes high potency calcium citrate and non-GMO ingredients.

Being gluten-free, it is kosher Parve. It provides calcium and magnesium in their respective chelate forms as calcium citrate and magnesium aspartate and natural vitamin D3 are taken from lanolin.

For maximum absorption and assimilation, it is available in the form of easy-to-swallow caplets.

Pros (advantages) of this product:

  • 1000 mg calcium per 4 tablets;
  • 180 tablets per bottle = 45 days intake;
  • Mini-tablets easy to swallow;
  • Added vitamin D3 and magnesium;
  • Used the best available forms of supplements;
  • Made with Non-GMO Ingredients;
  • Gluten-Free (for people with gluten intolerance);
  • Kosher Parve dietary supplement (free from dairy products, gluten, and wheat).

Cons (disadvantages) of this product:

  • The only cons a customer may see is the price. Actually, the price is in Solgar's price range.

How to Use This Product

As a dietary supplement, take four caplets of calcium supplements daily.

Bottom Line:

I have to be honest. I haven't tried this product in particular. However, after being lab-tested, it has been ranked as the #1 calcium product. I will have to test it, smells like worth trying it.

List of The Best 18 Calcium-Rich Foods

  • Whey Protein - 3 scoops (75-90 grams) provides 600 mg of calcium, which is 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
  • One cup of milk provides 300 milligrams of calcium, which is 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
  • Six ounces of Kefir or yogurt provides 300 milligrams, or 30 percent, of the recommended daily allowance.
  • A cup of cooked Kale yields 24 percent or 245 mg of calcium.
  • White Beans - ½ cup uncooked/about 1 cup cooked provides 242 mg of calcium or 24% RDA.
  • One ounce of cheese provides 224 milligrams of calcium.
  • Two ounces of sardines with bones supply 217 milligrams of calcium.
  • Kidney Beans - ½ cup uncooked/about 1 cup cooked provides 180 mg of calcium, 18% RDA.
  • Sesame Seeds - 2 tbsp provides 176 mg of calcium, 17.6% RDA.
  • Collard Greens - ½ cup cooked provides 134 mg of calcium, 13.4% RDA.
  • Natto - ¼ cup provides 95 mg of calcium, 9.5% RDA.
  • One and a half cups of broccoli has 93 milligrams of the calcium you need.
  • Goat Cheese - 1 oz provides 84 mg of calcium, 8.4% RDA.
  • Mustard Greens - ½ cup cooked provides 82 mg of calcium, 8% RDA.
  • A cup of okra contains 82 milligrams of calcium.
  • Almonds are a great source of calcium. Everyone ounce serving provides 76 milligrams of calcium.
  • The calcium in a cup of bok choy is 74 milligrams.
  • A cup of watercress has 41 milligrams of calcium.
  • White Beans - ½ cup uncooked/about 1 cup cooked provides 242 mg of calcium, 24% RDA.
A List Of The Best 18 Calcium Rich Foods

Dairy products and most green leafy vegetables contain calcium. So, consuming them on a daily basis will help ensure that you get the calcium your body needs.

What Does Health Benefits Calcium Offer

1) Bone Health

During adolescence and early adulthood, bones solidify and achieve their peak mass. The more mass the bones have at this time, the longer the body can prevent bone loss, or osteoporosis, from occurring.

Osteoporosis is the leading cause of broken bones in elderly patients. In fact, more than 10 million American adults are affected by this condition.

2) Cancer Prevention

Studies have shown that consuming ample amounts of calcium can reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancers; however, more studies need to be completed to determine if calcium supplements can help decrease a person's colorectal cancer risk.

Additionally, calcium supplements can lead to heart attacks; therefore, most physicians recommend getting this important mineral from food to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3) Weight Management

Calcium helps bind fat in the digestive system to help prevent the body from absorbing excess fat. Therefore, increasing your calcium intake can help to lower your body weight.

4) Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure

Calcium helps to smooth the muscles, veins, and arteries in the body, which can help lower blood pressure. In fact, cardiologists recommend a diet high in calcium to lower blood pressure.

When choosing dairy products, it has been shown that it is better to opt for full-fat dairy products rather than low-fat dairy products.

Calcium Supplements Top 10 Brands Reviewed

5) Helps Ensure Proper Function of Muscles and Nerves

Calcium is a big part of the way your brain releases neurotransmitters that are responsible for moving your muscles and nerves, sending signals to each other.

Calcium can help your cells communicate, relying on nerve responses, and helps activate important proteins that your body uses to move and contract your muscles.

Calcium is also involved with glucose control, impacting the amount of sugar in your blood, used by your muscles as fuel.

6) Diabetes Prevention

Some studies have indicated that consuming calcium and Vitamin D together can help optimize your body's metabolism of glucose, preventing diabetes. Calcium and Vitamin D may also affect the cells of the pancreas, directly controlling the secretion of insulin and, thus, the level of blood sugar.

Calcium is essential to the processes of the cells in the human body, especially those that are responsive to insulin, such as fat and muscle tissue.

In a 20-year study by Nurses' Health, over 80,000 women without a history of diabetes were followed, and their consumption of calcium and Vitamin D supplements was checked every 2 to 4 years.

During this 20 year span, the study found that having an intake that exceeds 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of Vitamin D resulted in a 33 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

7) Necessary for Optimal Dental Health

The body stores some of its calcium in your teeth, making it essential for the health and maintenance of your teeth.

Calcium can help protect your teeth from decay and has been linked with improved dental health for the same reasons it helps protect your bones.

8) Helps Treat Indigestion

Calcium is frequently found in over-the-counter treatments for heartburn, upset stomach, and indigestion. However, antacids can sometimes simply reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, which can actually worsen the problem.

In fact, nearly 80 percent of cases of acid reflux are caused by low amounts of stomach acid.

The actual cause of the reflux is food that sits too long in your stomach without enough acid for digestion, and it ferments, releasing pressure and gas that opens the LEM valve located between the stomach and esophagus.

This lets stomach acid out of the stomach where it causes that familiar pressure or burning sensation in your chest. Taking a regular calcium supplement can help improve the function of the LEM muscle, reversing the symptoms often associated with acid reflux or GERD.

9) PMS Prevention

Calcium can also be helpful when taken to relieve the symptoms of PMS, including cramps, tenderness of the breast, fatigue, bloating, moodiness, muscle aches, and headaches.

Calcium levels can fluctuate as you progress through the menstrual cycle. As estrogen increases, calcium levels drop. Adding a calcium supplement will help balance this out, reducing the symptoms associated with this painful condition.

Calcium plays a critical role in the human body. It is required for the proper functioning of cells, nerves, bone, and muscle. If the blood is low in calcium, the body starts taking calcium from the bones, which in turn weakens the bones.

Having the right amount of calcium in the body is critical to building and maintaining healthy bones. Although there is a debate on whether calcium is needed as a dietary supplement, its intake may lead to more benefits in certain situations.

Calcium deficiency is common and is a result mostly from nutrition and bad habits such as smoking, alcohol, and excess coffee. Calcium deficiency is directly related to the deficit of vitamin D and magnesium.

When deficit occurs, as well as in the case of osteoporosis or the risk of such (which is extremely common with women), taking calcium as a supplement is strongly recommended.

Calcium citrate is an acceptable source of calcium, as it is well absorbed and leads to increased bone mass. It is advisable to combine calcium with food when you take it together with vitamin D.

What Are Calcium Supplements Used For

Calcium supplements are used to treat or prevent low blood calcium levels in those that don't get sufficient calcium from their diets. The supplements are utilized in the treatment of conditions caused by low levels of calcium in the body such as:

  • bone loss;
  • weak bones;
  • certain muscle disease;
  • decreased activity of the parathyroid gland. 

Calcium supplements are also used in some patients to ensure that they get sufficient quantities of calcium. Patients that should be getting adequate amounts of calcium include postmenopausal women, women who are nursing, pregnant women, and people taking medications such as prednisone, phenobarbital, or phenytoin.

Usage and Dosage of Calcium Supplements

  • Calcium supplements are taken by mouth with food.
  • Calcium supplements containing calcium citrate can be taken either with or without food.
  • It is important to follow the directions provided on the product packaging or as directed by a physician.
  • If your daily recommended dose is over 600 milligrams, you should divide it and space it throughout the day for the best absorption.
  • If you are not sure about any of the information, consult your pharmacist or physician.
  • If you are using a chewable product, ensure that you chew well before you swallow.
  • If using an effervescent tablet, you should allow it to dissolve fully in a glass of water before you drink it.
  • Avoid chewing or swallowing the tablet whole.
  • If you are using a powder or liquid product, use a dose-measuring device or spoon to measure the supplement and ensure that you get the right dosage.
  • Avoid using a household spoon. If the liquid product you are using is a suspension, shake the bottle well before taking it.
  • Use calcium supplements regularly if you wish to get the most benefit. To ensure that you don't forget, get your supplement at the same time or times each day.

If the doctor recommends following a special diet, ensure that you do to get the most benefit from the product and avoid any serious side effects.

What If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose of your calcium supplement, take it once you remember. 

However, if you remember to take the supplement when it is too close to the time for your next dose, just skip your missed dose and proceed with the usual dosing schedule. Don't ever double the dosage to catch up.

Is There a Possibility of Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact an emergency room or poison control center immediately. The symptoms of calcium supplement overdose include:

  • tiredness;
  • weakness;
  • headache;
  • mental/mood changes;
  • loss of appetite;
  • nausea/vomiting.

However, it is very unlikely to overdose with calcium supplements in case you take an adequate dosage.

Side Effects of Calcium Supplements

Upset stomach and constipation are the most common side effects associated with calcium supplements.

If any of the side effects worsen or persist, inform your pharmacist or doctor immediately. However, most people never experience any serious side effects after taking calcium supplements. 

If you experience any of the following side effects:

  • unusual tiredness;
  • weakness;
  • increased urination/thirst;
  • headaches;
  • muscle/bone pain;
  • mood/mental changes;
  • abnormal weight loss;
  • loss of appetite;
  • vomiting/nausea, inform your doctor immediately.

It is very rare to experience a severe allergic reaction after taking calcium supplements. However, seek medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including trouble breathing, rash, severe dizziness, and swelling/itching of the throat, tongue, or face. 

The list of side effects provided here is far from exhaustive. If you do notice other side effects not listed here, ensure that you contact your pharmacist or doctor. 

Precautions When Taking Calcium Supplements

Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you have any allergies before you start taking calcium supplements. The supplements may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or various other problems. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

You should not use calcium supplements if you suffer from certain medical conditions such as:

  • kidney stones;
  • kidney disease;
  • a disease of the pancreas;
  • heart disease;
  • little to no stomach acid;
  • high calcium levels;
  • malabsorption syndrome;
  • certain lung diseases. 

If you suffer from phenylketonuria or a different condition that requires limiting your intake of aspartame, consult your pharmacist or doctor about using calcium supplements safely since some sugar-free formulations of calcium supplements contain aspartame. 

Drug Interactions

If you are taking calcium supplements under instructions from your doctor, it is likely that they are already aware of the possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.

Never stop, start, or alter the dosage of any calcium supplement before you check with your pharmacist or doctor first. Inform your physician or pharmacist before using calcium supplements if you are using any of the following products:

  • certain phosphate binders such as calcium acetate;
  • cellulose sodium phosphate;
  • digoxin.

Calcium can inhibit the absorption of other drugs including tetracycline antibiotics, bisphosphonates, levothyroxine, estramustine, and quinolone antibiotics such as levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. Ensure that you separate doses of the medications listed above from your doses of calcium supplements.

Ask your physician about how long to wait between doses and for assistance in finding a dosing schedule that works with all your medications. Check the labels on all your prescription and nonprescription medications since they may contain calcium. 

Notes About Taking Calcium Supplements

Calcium-rich foods include dairy products (such as ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and milk), dark-green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli), and calcium-fortified foods such as orange juice.

Calcium-rich foods help in calcium absorption. Vitamin D also helps with calcium absorption. Vitamin D rich foods include fatty fish, fortified dairy products, cod liver oil, sardines, chicken livers, and eggs.

The Bottom Line

Calcium supplements can be highly beneficial to your body, but you need to take the right dosages and to follow the right directions to avoid any unwanted side effects. 

Always ensure that you consult your physician or pharmacist before you start taking any calcium supplements or if you experience any serious side effects after taking them.

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