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Calcium is an essential nutrient for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Although a person may be able to get the calcium they need from their diet, some people need extra support from a calcium supplement.

A quick look at the top calcium supplements:

Factors such as age, diet, and underlying medical conditions can affect how much calcium a person’s body absorbs.

This article looks at the best calcium supplements, who may need them, how to choose, and when to speak to a doctor.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses 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 chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.

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.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best overall: Care/of Calcium Plus

Care/of Calcium Plus supplement on blue spattered background
  • Price: $10
  • Form: Capsule
  • Strength: 480 milligrams (mg) (37% Daily Value [DV])
  • Product size: 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 one time.

Read our review of Care/of here.

The calcium in Care/of Calcium Plus supplements is sustainably derived from red algae in Iceland, making it suitable for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.

Learn about the most important supplements for vegans here.

Care/of claims that algae naturally contains magnesium and other trace minerals.

According to a 2017 review, there is evidence to suggest that taking vitamin K and D together is more effective than taking vitamin D alone. Additionally, vitamin D helps the body absorb more calcium.

The manufacturer recommends taking these supplements separately from iron supplements, which may affect absorption.

This product is free from:

Best high strength: Garden of Life Raw Calcium

Garden of Life Calcium supplement box over blue speckled background
  • Price: $20.99-35.25
  • Form: Capsules
  • Strength: 1,100 mg (85% DV)
  • Product size: 60-120 tablets (15-30 day supply)
  • Dosage: 4 capsules daily, taken 2 at a time
  • Price per dose: $0.29-0.35
  • 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 mg of vitamin D.

The calcium is derived from algae. This supplement is made with a raw probiotic and enzyme blend, which Garden of Life claims may aid digestion.

These capsules are suitable for vegans and free from synthetic binders or fillers, artificial flavors, sweeteners, additives, gluten, and GMOs.

Garden of Life recommends taking two capsules with breakfast and two with lunch. They also state that people can open capsules and pour the contents into water or juice.

Best subscription: Persona Nutrition Calcium Citrate

Persona Nutrition Calcium Citrate supplement over blue spattered background
  • Price: $0.09 a day
  • Form: Tablet
  • Strength: 200 mg (15% DV)
  • Product size: Varies.
  • Dosage: 1 tablet daily
  • Price per dose: $0.09
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: N/A

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.

Calcium citrate is the only form the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends after bariatric surgery. A 2020 study notes that The European Guideline suggests a person gets 1,200-1,500 mg of calcium from diet or supplements after bariatric surgery to minimize the risk of kidney stones.

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:

  • wheat
  • soy
  • lactose
  • corn
  • egg
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • tree nuts
  • peanuts
  • gluten

A person can take one tablet daily with or without food.

Read our review of Persona here.

Best for purity: HUM Got Calcium

HUM Got Calcium supplement pack on blue spattered background
  • Price: $15
  • Form: Tablet
  • Strength: 630 mg (48% DV)
  • Product size: 60 tablets (30 day supply)
  • Dosage: 2 tablets daily
  • Price per dose: $0.50
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Vitamin D3

HUM formulates claims it manufactures supplements using carefully sourced and tested ingredients to ensure potency and effectiveness. All ingredients are verified clean and have clinically tested actives. HUM triple-tests its products.

HUM Got Calcium supplements are vegan and free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. They do not contain:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • fish
  • tree nuts
  • wheat
  • soy

These tablets contain 630 mg of calcium and 10 mg of vitamin D3.

Best personalized: Nurish by Nature Made

Nurish by Nature Made calcium supplement over blue spattered background
  • Price: $4-5.56
  • Form: Tablet
  • Strength: 500-600 mg (38-46%)
  • Product size: 30 tablets (30 day supply)
  • Dosage: 1 tablet daily
  • Price per dose: $0.13-0.18
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Vitamin D3

Nurish sells a 30-day supply of calcium supplements in either 500 mg or 600 mg strengths. The 500 mg is available for $4.44 for a one-time purchase or $4 for a monthly subscription. The 600 mg version is available for $5.56 for a one-time purchase or $5 monthly.

These supplements are lower cost than many competitors. Customers take a quiz to receive personalized vitamin and mineral recommendations.

Learn more about personalized vitamins here.

Nurish’s calcium is derived from limestone. They contain additional vitamin D3 to improve calcium absorption.

These supplements are gluten-free and have no artificial flavors or added colors. They are not suitable for people with milk, shellfish, or wheat allergies.

If someone is unsure whether or not they need to take calcium supplements, Nurish provides an online assessment that provides personalized recommendations.

People should take one tablet daily with water and a meal.

Best low strength: Megafood Calcium & Magnesium

Megafood Calcium & Magnesium supplement over blue background
  • Price: $22.09-32.99
  • Form: Tablet
  • Strength: 100 mg (8% DV)
  • Product size: 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. They contain 100 mg of calcium and 50 mg of magnesium to help support muscle function.

Learn about the best magnesium supplements here.

Other ingredients include 60 mg of a mineral herb blend containing organic nettle leaf, organic dandelion root, and organic parsley leaf.

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.

Best for vegans: Standard Process Calcium Lactate

Standard Process Calcium Lactate bottles over blue background
  • Price: $26-56.50
  • Form: Tablets
  • Strength: 260 mg (20% DV)
  • Product size: 90-360 tablets (30-120 day supply)
  • Dosage: 3 tablets daily
  • Price per dose: $0.16-0.29
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Magnesium

A small 2021 study found that, in comparison to omnivores, vegan participants generally exhibited lower bone health based on the measurement of nutritional and bone-related biomarkers, including calcium intake.

Many plant-based sources of calcium are available, including leafy green vegetables and legumes. However, some vegans may wish to supplement dietary intake of calcium with a supplement.

Learn about plant-based sources of calcium here.

This supplement is suitable for vegans and free from dairy, gluten, grains, and soy.

Standard Process recommends taking three tablets daily. Each serving contains 20% of a person’s daily calcium needs and 12% of a person’s magnesium needs.

Learn more about avoiding deficiencies on a vegan diet here.

Best for vitamin D: Life Extension Calcium Citrate

Life Extension Calcium Citrate supplement over blue background
  • Price: $16
  • Form: Capsules
  • Strength: 200 mg (16% DV)
  • Product size: 200 capsules (200-day supply)
  • Dosage: 1 capsule daily, one to four times daily.
  • Price per dose: $0.16-0.29
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Vitamin D3

Life Extension offers calcium capsules with 200 mg of calcium and 100 IU of vitamin D3, which may suit people looking for a supplement that balances calcium and vitamin D content.

These capsules are vegetarian and free from gluten and GMOs. They contain 200 mg of calcium per capsule.

Life Extension recommends taking one capsule with a meal and drink, one to four times a day. People may wish to start with a single capsule and gradually increase.

Best for allergies: Pure Encapsulations Calcium Citrate

Pure Encapsulations Calcium Citrate over blue background
  • Price: $27.65
  • Form: Capsules
  • Strength: 300 mg (23% DV)
  • Product size: 180 capsules (90-day supply)
  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Price per dose: $0.14
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Vitamin D3

These supplements are free from many common allergens and additives, making them suitable for people with allergies or intolerances.

These supplements are suitable for vegans and free from common allergens, including:

  • wheat
  • gluten
  • soy
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • tree nuts
  • peanuts

They also do not contain GMOs, shellac, coatings, additional binders, fillers, or preservatives, trans fats, magnesium stearate, and artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.

The calcium is derived from limestone, and the citrate is from corn dextrose fermentation. The citrate makes the calcium easier for a person to digest.

Each serving contains 300 mg of calcium, equal to 23% of a person’s daily recommended allowance. Pure Encapsulations recommends taking 2 capsules with or between meals.

Best calcium gummies: Nature Made Calcium

Nature Made Calcium
  • Price: $17.39
  • Form: Capsules
  • Strength: 500 mg (38% DV)
  • Product size: 80 gummies (40-day supply)
  • Dosage: 2 gummies daily
  • Price per dose: $0.21
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Vitamin D3, phosphorous

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 recommend consuming 2 gummies daily. As with all supplements, they should be kept out of reach of children.

Nature Made also sells a range of calcium supplements in tablet form here.

Best bulk buy: Kirkland Signature Calcium

Kirkland Signature Calcium
  • Price: $15.90
  • Form: Tablet
  • Strength: 600 mg (46%)
  • Product size: 500 tablets (500-day supply)
  • Dosage: 1 tablet daily
  • Price per dose: $0.03
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Vitamin D2

Kirkland offers calcium tablets at a lower cost than many similar brands, with a higher quantity of capsules per product. This may suit people looking for an affordable bulk buy option.

These tablets provide 600 mg of calcium and 10 mg of Vitamin D per tablet.

Best multivitamin: Thorne Research Oscap

Thorne Research Basic Bone Nutrients calcium supplement.
  • Price: $20.90
  • Form: Capsules
  • Strength: 300 mg (23%)
  • Product size: 120 tablets (60-day supply)
  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily daily
  • Price per dose: $0.17
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Vitamins B12, B6, and D, magnesium, folate, boron

This product contains several vitamins and minerals that Thorne claims may support bone health, including:

  • calcium
  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin D
  • folate
  • magnesium

These capsules are free from gluten, dairy, soy, and artificial flavors.

The manufacturers suggest taking 2 capsules twice daily.

Best calcium powder: NOW Supplements Calcium Carbonate Powder

NOW Supplements Calcium Carbonate Powder.
  • Price: $11.99
  • 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: N/A

This product contains pure calcium carbonate powder. Because 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 (tsp) provides 600 mg of calcium. Each bottle contains around 200 servings.

This product is suitable for Kosher and vegan diets. It is free from:

  • dairy
  • egg
  • gluten
  • GMO’s
  • nuts
  • soy

A calcium citrate version is also available here.

Best with magnesium: Designs for Health Cal/Mag 1:1

Designs for Health calcium malate supplement.
  • Price: $41.32
  • Form: Capsules
  • Strength: 200 mg (16%)
  • Product size: 180 capsules (90-day supply)
  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Price per dose: $0.23
  • Additional vitamins/minerals: Magnesium

This may be a suitable option for people looking to supplement both calcium and magnesium.

This supplement contains dicalcium malate and magnesium malate, compounds of calcium or magnesium and malic acid. According to the manufacturers, this form of calcium is easier to absorb than calcium alone.

Two capsules provide 200 mg of calcium and 200 mg of magnesium. A person’s recommended daily values for each mineral equate to 16% and 48%, respectively.

This product is suitable for vegetarians and free from gluten, dairy, soy, and GMOs.

The table below compares the calcium supplements in this article on key features:

PricePrice per doseProduct sizeFormDaily doseStrength per dose
(DV%)
Care/of$10$0.3360 capsulescapsule2 capsules480 mg
(37%)
Garden of Life$20.99-35.25$0.29-0.3560-120 capsulescapsule4 capsules,
2 at a time
1,100 mg (85% DV)
Persona Nutritionvaries$0.09variestablet1 tablet200 mg
(15%)
HUM$15$0.5060 tabletstablet2 tablets630 mg
(48%)
Nurish $4 -5.56$0.13-0.1830 tabletstablet1 tablet500-600 mg
(38-46%)
Megafood$22.09-32.99$0.36-0.4360-90 tabletstablet2 tablets100 mg
(8%)
Standard Process$26-56.50$0.16-0.2990-360
tablets
tablet3 tablets260 mg
(20% DV)
Life Extension$18$0.09200 capsulescapsule1 capsule200 mg
(16%)
Pure Encapsulations$27.65$0.14180 capsulescapsule2 capsules300 mg
(23%)
Nature Made$17.39$0.2180 gummiesgummies2 gummies500 mg
(38% DV)
Kirkland$15.90$0.03500 tabletstablets1 tablet600 mg
(46%)
Thorne Research$20.90$0.17120 capsulescapsule2 capsules300 mg
(23%)
NOW Supplements$11.99$0.7712 oz /
340 g
powder1/2 level teaspoon600 mg
(46%)
Designs for Health$41.32$0.23180 capsulescapsules2 capsules200 mg
(16%)

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.

Dosage

It is important to choose a supplement containing the right amount of calcium for a person’s age. The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) suggest that people get the following amounts of calcium in their diet each day:

AgeDaily calcium requirement
0–6 months200 milligrams (mg)
7–12 months260 mg
1–3 years700 mg
4–8 years1,000 mg
9–18 years1,300 mg
19–50 years1,000 mg
51–70 years1,000 mg for males, 1,200 mg for females
71 years and above1,200 mg

People below the age of 18 who are pregnant or breastfeeding need 1,300 mg of calcium per day.

Ingredients

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
  • inexpensive
  • 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.

Calcium citrate does not depend on stomach acid for absorption. As a result, it can be more suitable for people with:

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 here.

For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub.

Many people can get enough calcium from a balanced diet.

However, the ODS notes that certain groups may be more at risk of calcium deficiency, including:

  • 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 postmenopausal females.
  • 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 harder 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 to 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.

Learn more about calcium deficiency here.

Calcium supplements may cause adverse effects such as bloating, gas, or constipation for some people. Taking too much calcium may also lead to:

According to the ODS, some evidence suggests that high calcium intake may contribute to prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, studies looking at these risks have had mixed results.

Calcium supplements can interact with other medications, such as:

People taking any medications or with underlying conditions should talk with their 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 reduce the amount of calcium the body absorbs. These include:

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 non-dairy sources of calcium here.

People who suspect that they have a calcium deficiency should speak to 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 talk to a healthcare provider.

The following are common questions and answers about calcium supplements:

Who needs to take calcium supplements?

The National Institute of Health recommends that the following groups may be more in need of additional calcium:

  • premenopausal women
  • those who avoid dairy products, such as vegans or those with dairy allergies
  • someone with a calcium deficiency
  • older adults

However additional calcium is not suitable for everyone, such as those who have hypercalcemia. It is recommended a person speaks to their doctor prior to adding supplements to their diet.

What is the best type of calcium supplement?

The best form of calcium supplement depends on a person’s personal preference. If a person finds it difficult to swallow tablets, they may prefer gummies or powder form.

Calcium citrate is usually considered an easy form of calcium to digest. The addition of vitamin D or magnesium may also help with absorption.

Are there any risks or side effects with calcium supplements?

Side effects can include bloating, gas, and constipation. If a person gets too much calcium in their system, it could lead to kidney problems.

A person should consult a health practitioner before taking calcium supplements and consult a health practitioner should any side effects occur. Consumers should also abide by the instructions given by the manufacturers.

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.