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Calcium is an important mineral that’s crucial for maintaining bone strength and structure (1).
What’s more, it’s involved in many other aspects of health and required for blood clotting, muscle contractions, and nerve cell function (2).
Although calcium is found in a variety of foods like dairy products, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens, some people may need to supplement with it to help meet their daily needs.
However, selecting a high quality calcium supplement can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure what to look for.
This article evaluates calcium supplements based on the following criteria:
- third-party testing and certifications
- the type of calcium
- the dosage
- the presence of added ingredients to enhance calcium absorption
Here are the 10 best calcium supplements of 2020.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.
Generally, prices range from $0.07–$0.93 per serving, or $10.40–$38 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.
Most products require you to just take 1 capsule daily, but some have a greater serving size.
- $ = under $0.20 per serving
- $$ = $0.20–$0.40 per serving
- $$$ = over $0.40 per serving
1. Nature Made’s Calcium
This supplement contains 600 mg of calcium in the form of calcium carbonate, a compound that contains a high amount of calcium in each dose (3).
Calcium carbonate is not only more widely available than other forms but also often more affordable.
Additionally, it’s verified by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a third-party organization that tests supplements for purity and potency
2. Pure Encapsulations’ Calcium Citrate
Packing 300 mg of calcium into a single serving, this high quality supplement features calcium citrate, a form of calcium that’s very well absorbed by the body (5).
In addition to being hypoallergenic and made without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), this calcium supplement is certified gluten-free, making it a great option for those with food sensitivities or celiac disease.
It’s also produced in a facility that’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified by NSF International, meaning that it adheres to strict standards for quality and strength.
3. Vega Sport Pro’s Calcium
This product is made using calcium carbonate, a type of calcium that’s often cheaper and more widely available than other forms.
It contains 600 mg of calcium per serving, providing nearly half of the calcium that you need in an entire day (6).
This supplement is also vegan and NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that it has undergone third-party testing to verify the formulation and purity of the product.
4. Nature Made’s Calcium 750 mg + D + K
This supplement not only contains 750 mg of calcium from calcium carbonate in each serving but also a hearty dose of vitamins D and K.
Additionally, vitamin D can help increase the absorption of calcium to help maintain bone strength (4).
This product is verified by USP as well, which can ensure that you’re getting the highest quality possible.
5. Life Extension’s Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D
This supplement contains 200 mg of calcium in the form of highly absorbable calcium citrate (5).
It’s produced by Life Extension, a company known for manufacturing high quality supplements.
Additionally, a certificate of analysis (COA) is available for all Life Extension products. A COA provides in-depth information about each supplement.
6. Thorne’s Basic Bone Nutrients
Thorne Research is a reputable supplement manufacturer and one of the few companies certified by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), an Australian government agency responsible for regulating supplements for safety and quality.
With calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K, this product is a great option for those looking to support bone health.
However, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before using a high dose calcium supplement to prevent any adverse health effects.
Additionally, be sure to split your total daily dosage and take several smaller doses throughout the day. This is because calcium absorption is highest in doses of 500 mg or less and decreases with larger amounts (10).
7. Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Stronger Bones
This product provides 1,300 mg of calcium per serving, making it a great option for those seeking a high dose calcium supplement.
This product is also certified gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, and organic.
8. NOW Supplements’ Calcium & Magnesium
Each serving of this supplement boasts 1,000 mg of calcium, which is derived from a combination of calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, and calcium ascorbate.
In addition to being vegan, kosher, and soy-free, it’s certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which is a nonprofit organization that evaluates the safety of supplements.
9. Kirkland Signature’s Calcium 500 mg with D3
For those who prefer calcium gummies over capsules and tablets, this product may be a good choice.
It contains 500 mg of calcium, along with vitamin D to help maximize absorption.
It has also undergone third-party testing to evaluate its purity and strength, and it has been verified by USP.
10. Standard Process’ Calcifood
These wafers offer 200 mg of calcium per serving and can be an easy way to bump up your intake of calcium.
Standard Process is a unique manufacturer that grows 80% of the plants used in their supplements on their own certified organic farm.
They also use comprehensive testing methods that have been approved by third-party organizations like USP and the Association of Analytical Communities to maximize quality.
With so many different supplements on the market, picking the right product can be challenging.
Be sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer and look for supplements that have undergone third-party testing and are certified by organizations like USP or NSF International.
It’s also important to consider the type of calcium in your supplement and whether it contains calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, which are the two most common forms.
People who have low stomach acid or are taking proton pump inhibitors should choose calcium citrate, as it can be absorbed without the help of stomach acid (16).
Be sure to check the ingredient label carefully, as many products contain high amounts of fillers, additives, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives.
Many products also contain added ingredients like vitamin D, which can help optimize the absorption of calcium (4).
Calcium requirements range from 1,000-1,200 mg daily for most adults depending on age and sex, and it can come from a combination of food sources and supplements (17).
For most people, supplements providing 200–500 mg of calcium are often enough to help fill any gaps in their diet (18).
However, those who are at risk of osteoporosis or unable to meet their calcium needs due to food allergies or dietary restrictions may require a higher dose (9).
Furthermore, those with certain medical conditions, such as hypoparathyroidism — a condition characterized by low production of parathyroid hormone, may also need a higher dose supplement (19).
Be sure to talk to your doctor before using a high dose calcium supplement, and remember to always split supplementation into several smaller doses of less than 500 mg to maximize absorption (17).
Finally, it’s important to only use a supplement as directed and talk to a healthcare professional before starting to supplement, especially if you have any underlying conditions or are taking medications.
Useful supplement shopping guides
Check out these two articles to help make supplement shopping a breeze:
Calcium is an important mineral that plays a central role in bone health.
There are many calcium supplements on the market, each of which varies based on the type of calcium, dosage, and ingredients it contains.
When selecting a calcium supplement, be sure to consider all of these factors and look for products that have undergone third-party testing to ensure that you’re getting the highest quality possible.