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The best calcium supplements for bones, teeth, and muscle health provide easy-to-absorb calcium at affordable prices. This article discusses calcium requirements, absorption, and the best options to try.
- Best overall: Care/of Calcium Plus | Skip to review
- Best high strength: Garden of Life Raw Calcium | Skip to review
- Best subscription: Persona Nutrition Calcium Citrate | Skip to review
- Best for purity: HUM Got Calcium | Skip to review
- Best low strength: Megafood Calcium & Magnesium | Skip to review
- Best calcium gummies: Nature Made Calcium with D3 Gummies | Skip to review
- Best calcium powder: NOW Supplements Calcium Carbonate Powder | Skip to review
- Best calcium for children: Renzo’s Hercules Calcium with Vitamin D3 and K2 | Skip to review
Calcium is an
Factors such as age, diet, and underlying medical conditions can affect how much calcium a person’s body absorbs.
This article examines the best calcium supplements and discusses who may need them, how to choose, and when to contact a doctor.
Medical News Today chooses calcium supplements that meet the following criteria:
- Ingredients: MNT selects products containing safe and high quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
- Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the supplement dosage.
- Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
- Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
- Available certificate of analysis: MNT selects companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Best overall: Care/of Calcium Plus
- Price: $10
- Form: capsule
- Strength: 480 milligrams (mg) (37% Daily Value [DV])
- Count: 60 capsules (30-day supply)
- Dosage: 2 capsules daily
- Price per dose: $0.33
- Additional vitamins/minerals: vitamin D, vitamin K2
Care/of offers personalized vitamin and mineral recommendations, which customers can subscribe to or purchase as and when they need. The company tests products three times during manufacturing, including third-party testing before it sells the product.
Learn about the most important supplements for vegans.
Care/of claims that algae naturally contains magnesium and other trace minerals.
According to a
The manufacturer recommends taking these supplements separately from iron supplements, which may affect absorption.
This product is free from:
- free from many major allergens
- suitable for vegans
- Care/of tests products three times during manufacturing
Best high strength: Garden of Life Raw Calcium
- Price: around $29–$51
- Form: capsules
- Strength: 1,100 mg (85% DV)
- Count: 60–120 tablets (15–30 day supply)
- Dosage: 4 capsules daily, 2 at a time
- Price per dose: $0.35–$0.48
- Additional vitamins/minerals: magnesium, vitamin D3, vitamin K, vitamin C
These supplements have 1,100 mg of calcium per serving, a higher dosage than many similar supplements. It also contains 40 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D.
This supplement uses algae-derived calcium and a raw probiotic and enzyme blend, which Garden of Life claims may aid digestion. The company uses third-party testing.
These capsules are suitable for vegans and free from synthetic binders or fillers, artificial flavors, sweeteners, additives, gluten, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Garden of Life recommends taking 2 capsules with breakfast and 2 with lunch. It also states that people can open the capsules and pour the contents into water or juice.
- certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
- people can pour capsule contents into drinks
- suitable for vegans
- a more expensive option
- several buyers claimed it caused stomach upset
Best subscription: Persona Nutrition Calcium Citrate
- Price:$0.09 a day
- Form: tablet
- Strength: 200 mg (15% DV)
- Count: varies by subscription
- Dosage: 1 tablet daily
- Price per dose: $0.09
- Additional vitamins/minerals: none
Persona provides personalized vitamins and minerals via subscription. Customers take a short online assessment to discuss their lifestyle, diet, and other factors. A doctor-designed algorithm then creates a personal supplement plan with vitamin recommendations.
According to the manufacturer, calcium citrate may also suit those with low stomach acid to maintain healthy bones and fill nutrition gaps.
This supplement is suitable for vegans and free from the following allergens:
- tree nuts
Persona tests its products itself, meaning this product is not third-party tested.
- low daily cost
- free from a wide range of allergens
- Persona provides personalized supplements
- Persona does not use a third party to test its products
- does not provide a lot of calcium per dose
Best for purity: HUM Got Calcium
- Form: tablet
- Strength: 630 mg (48% DV)
- Count: 60 tablets (30-day supply)
- Dosage: 2 tablets daily
- Price per dose: $0.50
- Additional vitamins/minerals: vitamin D3
HUM states it manufactures supplements using carefully sourced and tested ingredients to ensure potency and effectiveness. The company also claims it uses clinically tested actives and employs triple testing — including third-party testing — during manufacturing.
HUM Got Calcium supplements are vegan and free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. They do not contain:
- tree nuts
- HUM uses triple testing during manufacturing
- it is a vegan supplement
- it includes vitamin D3 to help absorption
- contains more vitamin D than calcium
- provides less than half of a person’s calcium DV
- the tablets are quite large
Best low strength: Megafood Calcium & Magnesium
- Form: tablet
- Strength: 100 mg (8% DV)
- Count: 60–90 tablets (30–45 day supply)
- Dosage: 2 tablets daily
- Price per dose: $0.36–$0.43
- Additional vitamins/minerals: magnesium
These tablets may suit people looking for a low dose calcium supplement or a calcium and magnesium multimineral supplement. This may be useful for people who take in most of their calcium through their diet.
They contain 150 mg of calcium and 75 mg of magnesium to help support muscle function.
Learn about the best magnesium supplements.
These tablets may be taken anytime throughout the day, though Megafood recommends taking 2–3 hours before or after any other multivitamins.
Customers can choose between 30 or 45-day supplies, with 60 or 90 tablets, respectively. One-time purchases are available alongside subscription options that offer 15% off.
- suitable for those wanting to try a low dose of calcium
- also contains magnesium for muscle function
- certified vegan
- a low dose may not be useful for everyone
- it is an expensive option
Best calcium gummies: Nature Made Calcium with D3
- Price: around $18
- Form: gummies
- Strength: 500 mg (38% DV)
- Count: 80 gummies (40-day supply)
- Dosage: 2 gummies
- Price per dose: $0.45
- Additional vitamins/minerals: vitamin D3 and phosphorus
Gummy supplements may suit people who find swallowing tablets or capsules difficult.
These gummies have cherry, orange, and strawberry flavors and are gluten-free. However, they are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
These gummies are also free from synthetic dyes, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.
Nature Made recommends consuming 2 gummies daily. As with all supplements, people should keep them out of reach of children.
- gummies are easier to take than capsules for some people
- available in three flavors
- free from synthetic dyes, artificial flavors, and sweeteners
- each dose provides under 50% of a person’s calcium DV
- not suitable for vegetarians or vegans
- 2 gummies have enough sugar to take up 10% of a person’s daily caloric intake,
exceedingadvice from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Best calcium powder: NOW Calcium Carbonate Powder
- Price: around $12
- Form: powder
- Strength: 600 mg (46%)
- Product size: 12 ounces (oz) / 340 grams (g) (200-day supply)
- Dosage: 1/2 level teaspoon daily
- Price per dose: $0.77
- Additional vitamins/minerals: none
This product contains pure calcium carbonate powder. As this calcium supplement comes in powder form, a person can customize the dosage according to their needs.
The manufacturers recommend mixing the powder into pulpy juices, such as orange or tomato juice, and taking it with a meal.
Half a level teaspoon provides 600 mg of calcium. Each bottle contains around 200 servings.
This product is suitable for Kosher and vegan diets. It is free from:
A calcium citrate version is also available on Amazon.
- may suit people who find swallowing tablets and capsules difficult
- individuals can adjust their dose as needed
- people can easily add it to drinks they have with meals
- may be more difficult to be accurate while measuring a dose
- some buyers did not like the taste or texture of the powder in drinks
Best calcium for children: Renzo’s Hercules Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2
- Price: around $18
- Form: tablets
- Strength: 100 mg (14–15% DV)
- Count: 60 tablets
- Dosage: 1 tablet for 2–3 year olds, 2 tablets for 4 years and over
- Price per dose: $0.29
- Additional vitamins/minerals: vitamin D3 and K2
Renzo’s describes these children’s supplements as “melty” tablets. They dissolve in the mouth, meaning children do not have to swallow tablets, use liquid supplements, or chew gummies. People can also dissolve these tablets in water, juice, or smoothies.
Children ages 2–3 years should take 1 tablet daily, while children ages 4 and over require 2.
They do not contain sugar or gluten, and the fruit flavors are natural. The gummies are NSF-certified and go through third-party testing.
The tablets are vegan and free from:
- GMO ingredients
- common allergens
However, Renzo’s does not state which allergens these are.
- the tablets dissolve in the mouth
- people can also dissolve them in water, juice, or smoothies
- they do not contain sugar
- does not provide all of a child’s calcium DV
- Renzo’s does not specify which allergens the supplement is free from
The table below compares the calcium supplements in this article on their key features.
|Price||Price per dose||Product size||Form||Daily dose||Strength per dose|
|Care/of||$10||$0.33||60 capsules||capsule||2 capsules||480 mg|
|Garden of Life||around $29–$51||$0.35–$0.48||60–120 capsules||capsule||4 capsules,|
2 at a time
|1,100 mg (85%)|
|Persona Nutrition||varies||$0.09||varies||tablet||1 tablet||200 mg|
|HUM||$15||$0.50||60 tablets||tablet||2 tablets||630 mg|
|Megafood||$32–$40||$0.36–$0.43||60–90 tablets||tablet||2 tablets||100 mg|
|Nature Made||around $18||$0.45||80 gummies||gummies||2 gummies||500 mg|
|NOW Supplements||around $12||$0.77||12 oz /|
|powder||1/2 level teaspoon||600 mg|
|Renzo’s||around $18||$0.29||60 tablets||tablet||• 1 tablet for 2–3 year olds|
• 2 tablets for 4 years and over
The best calcium supplement will depend on the person’s unique circumstances. The type and quantity of calcium a person needs will vary depending on:
- their age
- whether or not they take any medications
- whether or not they have any health conditions
A doctor can advise on the best way for someone to get more calcium based on these factors.
When looking for a product, it is important to consider the following factors.
It is important to choose a supplement containing the right amount of calcium for a person’s age. The
|Age||Daily calcium requirement|
|0–6 months||200 mg|
|7–12 months||260 mg|
|1–3 years||700 mg|
|4–8 years||1,000 mg|
|9–18 years||1,300 mg|
|19–50 years||1,000 mg|
|51–70 years||1,000 mg for males, 1,200 mg for females|
|71 years and above||1,200 mg|
People below the age of 18 years who are pregnant or nursing need 1,300 mg of calcium per day.
In addition to finding a product with the right dosage, it is also a good idea to consider which form of calcium will be most suitable.
There are two main forms of calcium in supplements: calcium carbonate and calcium citrate.
Calcium carbonate is:
- widely available
higher in calcium
However, calcium carbonate relies on stomach acid for absorption, so people should take it with food. Some people may also find that calcium carbonate causes side effects, such as gas and bloating.
- lower levels of stomach acid
- inflammatory bowel disease
- a sensitivity to calcium carbonate
However, calcium citrate is more expensive than calcium carbonate, and it contains less calcium overall. This means that a person may need to take it more frequently.
Learn about the best vitamin brands.
For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub.
Many people can get enough calcium from a balanced diet.
- Postmenopausal females: Decreases in estrogen can reduce calcium absorption and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Taking calcium supplements may slow the rate of bone density loss in people who are postmenopausal.
- People with infrequent or no periods: People who do not have a regular menstrual cycle may also have lower estrogen levels. Athletes or people with eating disorders can sometimes have irregular cycles.
- People with lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy: Avoiding dairy products can make it challenging to get enough calcium. Taking a supplement can help boost levels.
- Vegans and some vegetarians: Vegans and ovovegetarians, who eat eggs but no dairy products, may not get enough calcium from their everyday diet.
If a person is concerned about a calcium deficiency, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional. They can perform certain tests and analyze the person’s overall health and diet to confirm whether or not a calcium supplement is necessary.
How to take calcium for the best absorption
The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF) states that the body absorbs calcium best when people take 500–600 mg or less at a time through food or a supplement.
People can aim to consume calcium-rich foods in small amounts throughout the day or take a calcium supplement with a meal.
People may also ensure they take optimal vitamin D through their diet or a supplement, as it is
- kidney stones
- soft tissue calcification
- renal insufficiency
Calcium supplements can interact with other medications, such as:
- osteoporosis medications, such as bisphosphonates
- certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline or fluoroquinolone
- anticonvulsant medications, such as phenytoin
- thyroid medications, such as levothyroxine
- medications for Paget disease, such as tiludronate disodium
People taking any medications or with underlying conditions should talk with a healthcare professional before trying a calcium supplement.
A person may be able to get enough calcium from food alone. Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese contain the highest calcium levels.
Some dairy- and lactose-free sources of calcium include:
- nuts and seeds
- dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale
- beans and lentils
- tofu made with calcium sulfate
- canned fish, such as sardines or salmon
- fortified breakfast cereals
- fortified milk alternatives
- fortified fruit juice
Some substances can also
If a person’s body has difficulty absorbing calcium, they may benefit from reducing their intake of foods and beverages that contain these substances.
Learn about other dairy-free sources of calcium.
People who suspect they have a calcium deficiency should speak with a healthcare professional. They can determine if this is the case and, if so, recommend some ways to get more calcium.
If a person experiences new or worsening symptoms while taking calcium, they should stop taking the supplement and seek medical advice.
Below, we answer common questions about calcium supplements.
What is the most effective calcium to take?
Calcium carbonate typically
People should speak with a doctor to discuss which type would be best for them.
Which form of calcium is absorbed better?
Calcium citrate is
What is the best form of calcium to take for osteoporosis?
Getting calcium from food is the best way to get optimal calcium each day, but
What is better, Caltrate or Citracal?
Both products typically provide 600 mg of calcium, meaning the main difference between them is the source of calcium.
Caltrate contains calcium carbonate, and Citracal contains calcium citrate. A person must take 2 Citracal tablets to get the same dose as Caltrate. This is because calcium carbonate provides more calcium than calcium citrate, making Caltrate more cost-effective.
However, some people may find Citracal easier to absorb. Buyers can discuss their choice with a doctor.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health. Some people may not be able to get enough calcium from their diet, in which case they may benefit from taking a supplement.
A healthcare professional can help someone choose the form and dosage they need. They can also advise on any other nutrients that might help with absorption.