Best Calcium Supplements Ranked for 2018 – Top 10 Brands

best-calcium-supplements-to-buy-and-take

Jump Ahead to the Best Calcium Products

Throughout our lives, we must consistently work hard to stay healthy and happy. There are many factors that contribute to our overall health and wellbeing, including diet, fitness, and more.

There are many important nutrients that we need on a daily basis, in order for our bodies to operate properly and function at their best. Sometimes, it’s difficult for us to get enough of these vital nutrients from our diet alone. This is where dietary supplements come into play.

On this site, we aim to help our readers achieve better physical health through the use of dietary supplements and health products. Today, we’re here to talk about calcium supplements, one of the most commonly taken supplements out there. Let’s dive right in and explore calcium benefits, the dangers of calcium deficiency, foods with calcium, and more!

What Is Calcium?

Calcium is a mineral found naturally in many foods. Natural sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens, broccoli, edamame, and several more fruits and veggies.

In the body, calcium serves a number of very important roles. For one, it plays a key part in the building and strengthening of bones. It also plays a role in the link between brain and body, helping to improve your brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of your body, as well as improving memory function. It can also help to regulate blood pressure, and serves as a co-factor in many important enzyme reactions.

Calcium is one of the many nutrients that is essential for good health. Without adequate amounts of this important mineral, our bones become brittle, our brain function slows, our memory fades, and we experience the low calcium symptoms that are quite common nowadays.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. The majority of it is stored in the bones and teeth, where it is used to strengthen and improve bone health.

The body cannot make calcium on its own, so we must consume adequate amounts of it in order to stay healthy. The primary source of calcium is dairy products like milk, cheese, eggs, etc. Many people get enough calcium in their diet, while others need to supplement in order to reach the optimal levels.

What Are Calcium Supplements?

Quite simply, calcium supplements are products designed to deliver concentrated doses of this important mineral. They typically come in pill or capsule form, although calcium powder is an option as well.

The National Institute of Health recommends around 1000mg of calcium per day for healthy adults. The specific recommendation varies depending on age and gender, but 1000mg is a good average baseline to consider.

To put that into perspective, a glass of milk contains around 300mg, a container of yogurt contains around 200mg, and a cup of kale contains around 100mg. So, while it’s possible to get enough of the mineral from your diet alone, it can be a challenge for many folks – particularly those who don’t eat dairy or have other restrictive diets.

Good calcium supplements will generally contain 500-1000mg of calcium per serving, giving you an easy way to reach your daily requirement. And, since the upper recommended limit is usually around 2000mg per day, there’s generally no harm in taking a supplement even if you already eat a good amount of foods with calcium like dairy products. It’s an easy way of ensuring that you get enough of this key nutrient.

Benefits of Calcium

Calcium serves a number of important roles in the body. Here are the key benefits that you can expect:

  • Helps promote healthy bones
  • Helps the health of cardiac muscles and heart
  • Helps PMS symptoms
  • Helps regulates pH levels
  • Helps dental health by supporting your jaw
  • Aids in optimal nutrient transport within the body
  • Helps fight symptoms of calcium deficiency
  • Promotes overall health

These are the highlights, but the list goes on. It’s also important to note that taking top calcium supplements can help you avoid low calcium symptoms, which can be severe at times.

Calcium deficiency, otherwise known as hypocalcemia, is a common issue affecting hundreds of thousands of people every year. It often goes unnoticed, and over time it can get worse if nothing is changed.

Low calcium symptoms can be hard to spot at first. Early-stage deficiencies may not immediately cause any noticeable issues, but over the years, a deficiency can begin causing symptoms like memory loss, muscle spasms, numbness and tingling, depression, and even hallucinations.

Who Can Benefit from Calcium?

Since calcium serves so many roles in the body, and since the dangers of a deficiency in this nutrient can cause a lot of health issues, many folks can benefit from adding a supplement to their diet.

With that being said, some people will experience more benefits than others. Below, find the key groups of people that are most likely to experience the most benefits from adding a good calcium supplement to their diet:

  • Those at risk for calcium deficiency – a deficiency in this key mineral is more common than you might think. Some risk factors for deficiency include restrictive diets, vitamin D deficiencies, magnesium deficiencies, a history of gastrointestinal disorders, liver failure, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, anxiety disorders, and more. If you believe you may be at risk, speak to your doctor about adding an effective calcium supplement to your diet.
  • Those who don’t eat dairy products – since the primary sources of calcium in our modern diets include dairy products, those who are lactose intolerant or avoid dairy for other reasons are at risk for deficiency. Without dairy, it’s very difficult to get the RDA of calcium on a daily basis from foods alone. There are many non-dairy foods that do contain calcium, but you’d have to eat a ton of them to get enough on a daily basis.
  • Aging individuals – if you’re a women over 50, or a man over 70, you’ll need to up your amount of calcium intake. While the RDA for the average adult is 1000mg, that amount goes up to 1200mg once you hit 51 and 71, for women and men, respectively. In general, older folks need more calcium to protect their bones from becoming brittle, and to help improve other health conditions associated with old age.
  • Athletes and fitness enthusiasts – proper calcium dosage is especially important for athletes and anyone who lives an active lifestyle. One obvious reason for this is that calcium makes bones stronger and helps muscle cramps. But another reason you may not immediately recognize is that active folks are more likely to become calcium deficient, because perspiration removes minerals from your body.
  • Women – women tend to need a bit more calcium than men, particularly for older women. Some studies have also found that calcium can lessen the effects of PMS in some women.

Are There Any Side Effects?

In general, when taken as instructed, there are no major calcium side effects. With that being said, some people do experience common side effects, such as:

  • Nausea/constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle pain

More severe side effects may occur if you take too much calcium, or take it in greater quantities than recommended by your doctor. Calcium toxicity, otherwise known as hypercalcemia, can have some very serious negative side effects. To avoid this condition, simply do not take more than the product packaging instructs, and consult your doctor if you have any questions.

As usual, we ALWAYS recommend that you speak to a medical professional before adding any new supplement to your diet; even something as simple as calcium.

How to Take Calcium

If you’re wondering about the proper calcium dosage or how you should take these products, this is the section for you.

First off, you should take a look at the RDA for calcium to learn how much you should be taking. It does vary based on age and sex, but generally around 1,000mg per day is needed for optimal health. With that being said, do keep in mind that you probably already get some calcium in your daily diet. Most calcium supplements come in pill or capsule form, so they’re easy to take. Calcium powder is a bit more hassle than it’s worth in most cases.

Taking a 1000mg calcium pill every day shouldn’t cause you any problems, even if you already eat a good amount of dairy. However, you should never take more than the recommended amount unless advised by a doctor, as higher amounts can lead to health problems down the road.

When to Take Calcium

As far as when you should take your calcium pills, you should take them separately from your multivitamin. Most multivitamins contain iron, and calcium can interfere with iron absorption. So, simply take your calcium supplement at a different time than your standard multivitamin. Other than that, timing is not too important, although some people may experience minor stomach upset if they take supplements on an empty stomach.

Also important to note is calcium’s relationship with other nutrients. In order to be absorbed and used properly in the body, calcium needs to react with adequate quantities of vitamin D. Vitamin D is found in some foods, and is also absorbed through the skin when exposed to direct sunlight. It’s also a common addition in top calcium supplements. If you live in a sunny climate and are outside a lot, you probably don’t need to worry about vitamin D – but if not, look for a powerful calcium supplement that also contains vitamin D.

Calcium and magnesium also work synergistically together, which is why you’ll see that many of the products on our top 10 calcium supplements list above contain both of these minerals. You won’t necessarily have to take both, depending on your needs, but do keep in mind that these minerals work well together, and that too much calcium without enough magnesium (and vice versa) can lead to problems down the road.

What to Look for in a Good Calcium Product

As with most things nowadays, there are a lot of good calcium supplements out there to choose from. Picking the best one can be a challenge. We’ve done the legwork for you by putting together a list of the top calcium supplements available, and we’ve also put together the tips below to help you choose.

  • Calcium content – step #1 should be to take a look at the ingredient label to see the quantity of calcium in each serving. Typically, you’ll see products with a range of 500-1000mg per serving. Keep in mind the daily recommended amount is around 1000mg.
  • Type of calcium – another important distinction is the type of calcium used. “Calcium” is the actual mineral, but in supplement form, you’ll see names like calcium citrate (generally the best type), calcium carbonate, calcium chelate, and others. Different types absorb at different rates and efficiencies, although they all offer essentially the same benefits.
  • Other ingredients – many of the best calcium pills will actually contain more than just calcium. Vitamin D is the most commonly added, followed by magnesium and zinc. Vitamin D is mostly added to increase calcium absorption, and magnesium and zinc are added because they can work synergistically with calcium in the body. If you’re already taking magnesium or vitamin D supplement separately, you don’t need to go with one of these combination supplements. Otherwise, they are a convenient way to maximize the efficacy of the nutrients.
  • Serving size – calcium supplements tend to either be really large pills, or they are 2-4 pills per dose. This is important to consider when shopping for a product. If you can handle swallowing large pills, it may be easier/more convenient to go with a 1 or 2 pill per dose product. On the other hand, if you have trouble with larger pills, a 4-pill serving size may be best. Also, keep the serving size in mind when calculating the price per serving.
  • Brand quality – who makes the product? Are they a reputable company with good quality standards? On our list below of the top calcium pills, we’ve only included products from great companies. But if you end up shopping elsewhere, do your research to know who you’re buying from.
  • Value/price – last but not least, you should take note of the price of each supplement you’re considering. More specifically, the price per serving should be a good indicator of value. This certainly shouldn’t be the number one factor, but price is usually a factor (unless you’re rich!)

Top 10 Calcium Supplements Compared

Heads up, there are affiliate links in this article, so if you buy something, we get a cut of the sale.


1. Solgar Calcium Magnesium with Vitamin D3

best-calcium-supplement-to-buy

Solgar Calcium Magnesium with Vitamin D3 which, like its name suggests, comes packed with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. These three nutrients work synergistically in the body, which is why they are often combined into one product. Containing 100% of the daily value or more of each of these important nutrients, this supplement is an easy way to help improve your wellbeing. It may just be the best calcium supplement on the market!

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg calcium (as calcium citrate)
  • 500mg magnesium (as magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate)
  • 400iu vitamin D3

Who makes it: This product is made by Solgar, a large scale nutritional company that has been in business since 1947. For decades, Solgar has been developing, producing and distributing high quality supplements and health products, and today their offerings are available worldwide.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a very effective calcium supplement that also offers the added benefits provided by magnesium and vitamin D3. All three of these nutrients are very commonly deficient, so adding these to your supplement regimen can really help boost your wellbeing. Plus, Solgar is an excellent company that’s been in business for nearly 70 years, so you can trust in their expertise and service.

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

2. Rainbow Light Calcium Citrate Mini-Tablets

Rainbow-Light-Calcium-Citrate-Mini-Tablets

Rainbow Light Calcium Citrate Mini-Tabs are effective calcium supplements made by a high quality company. Each serving contains 800mg of calcium citrate, which is one of the best forms of calcium due to its superior absorption rate. It also includes vitamin D3, spirulina and horsetail which work together to increase the effectiveness of this product.

Highlights:

  • 800mg calcium citrate
  • Includes vitamin D3, boron, spirulina and horsetail
  • Gentle formula
  • Mini tabs are easy to swallow
  • Made by a known company
  • Very affordable

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 800mg calcium citrate
  • 800iu vitamin D3 – vitamin D3 is added to boost the efficacy of calcium, and because it provides many notable health benefits on its own.
  • Boron, spirulina and horsetail extract are added to further increase absorption and efficacy.

Who makes it: This product is made by Rainbow Light, a large scale nutritional company based in Santa Cruz, California. Founded more than 30 years ago, Rainbow Light has decades of experience producing high quality supplements and nutritional products. When designing their product offerings, Rainbow Light aims to use pure ingredients and whole foods wherever possible. Today, they are one of the biggest and best names in the industry!

Bottom line: Overall, this is a top calcium supplement and a great choice for anyone looking for a solid product. The mini-tabs are nice as they’re very easy to swallow, and the gentle formula is great for those with sensitive stomachs. Perhaps most importantly, the product is backed by a great company that is known for quality and consistency.

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

3. Bluebonnet Calcium Citrate Magnesium and Vitamin D3

Bluebonnet-Calcium-Citrate-Magnesium-and-Vitamin-D3

Bluebonnet Calcium Citrate Magnesium and Vitamin D3 is a powerful supplement offering several key nutrients in one. Both calcium and magnesium, two of the most commonly deficient nutrients out there, are included, as well as vitamin D3. These three ingredients work synergistically to improve your wellbeing and ensure optimal nutrient levels in your system.

Highlights:

  • Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3 in one
  • 1000mg calcium
  • 400mg magnesium
  • 800iu vitamin D3
  • Three important nutrients in one
  • Chelated for optimal absorption
  • Lots of available user reviews online
  • Affordable

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg calcium (as calcium citrate)
  • 400mg magnesium (as magnesium aspartate)
  • 800iu vitamin d3

Who makes it: This product is made by Blue Bonnet Nutrition. Founded in 1991, Blue Bonnet has been hard at work creating natural, effective supplements by combining the best of science and nature into one. Today, they offer many great products ranging from vitamins to minerals and beyond.

Bottom line: Overall, this is one of the best calcium supplements available today. It combines 100% of your daily value of calcium with both magnesium and vitamin d3, nutrients which boost the efficacy of calcium while also offering significant benefits on their own. This product also comes from a great company, so you can trust that you’re getting a good product when you go with Blue Bonnet!

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

4. GNC Calcium Plus 1000

GNC-Calcium-Plus-1000

GNC Calcium Plus 1000 is a strong calcium supplement containing 1000mg of calcium per serving. Also included are added magnesium and vitamin D3, two important ingredients that also boost the absorption rate of calcium. The product comes from GNC, one of the most recognizable brands in the business.

Highlights:

  • 1000mg calcium
  • 500mg magnesium
  • 800iu vitamin D3
  • Affordable
  • Easy to take
  • Comes from a good company

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg calcium carbonate
  • 800iu vitamin D3 – added to improve absorption
  • 500mg magnesium

Who makes it: This product is made by GNC, a popular distributor of fitness supplements and health products. You likely have a GNC store in your local mall, as the reach of this company extends across the globe. GNC is actually mostly a retailer, but they contract with reputable companies to produce their GNC name-brand products, such as this one. GNC is committed to maintaining rigorous quality and purity standards across all their products, while backing their offerings with excellent customer support.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a very effective and powerful calcium supplement. It contains 3 nutrients that are very commonly deficient in our modern diets, all of which work together to improve health and well-being. Plus, it comes from GNC, one of the best-known companies in the business!

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

5. Kirkland Signature Calcium Citrate Magnesium and Zinc

Kirkland-Signature-Calcium-Citrate-Magnesium-and-Zinc

Kirkland Signature Calcium Citrate is a strong calcium supplement that also contains the important nutrients of magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D3. These ingredients work together to provide powerful health benefits, and they are also all nutrients that are commonly deficient in our modern diets.

Highlights:

  • 500mg calcium
  • 80mg magnesium
  • 10mg zinc
  • Vitamin D3, B6, copper and manganese
  • Serving size is two capsules
  • Very affordable
  • Made by a good brand

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 500mg calcium citrate
  • 80mg magnesium oxide
  • 800iu vitamin D3
  • 10mg zinc
  • Much more, including Vitamin B6, copper, manganese and boron.

Who makes it: This product is made by Kirkland Signature, which is Costco’s store brand. Costco partners with reputable companies to help them produce high quality products, and then markets them under the Kirkland Signature name. Anyone familiar with Costco knows that this company is all about high quality, consistent products at great prices – and this item is no different!

Bottom line: Overall, this is a great product at a great price. It contains several key nutrients in one easy package. It’s also backed by Kirkland/Costco, which is a great company to purchase from. The only downside is that there is only 500mg of calcium per serving, whereas most supplements offer around twice that.

ⓘ If you buy something using the links below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

6. Solaray Calcium Magnesium Zinc

Solaray-Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc

Solaray Calcium Magnesium Zinc is a good calcium supplement that comes from a very reputable brand. Containing three key nutrients in one, this supplement targets some of the most common nutrient deficiencies to improve overall health and wellbeing.

Highlights:

  • 1000mg calcium
  • 500mg magnesium
  • 25mg zinc
  • Targets three very common nutrient deficiencies
  • Lots of available user reviews online

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg calcium (as calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, calcium chelate and calcium hydroxide)
  • 500mg magnesium (as magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, and magnesium chelate)
  • 25mg zinc

Who makes it: This product is made by Solaray, a division of Nutraceutical. Solaray has been in business since 1973, and was acquired by the Nutraceutical group in 1993. Since their humble beginnings more than 40 years ago, Solaray has been committed to maintaining rigorous quality and consistency standards, while working hard to keep prices reasonable for their customers.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a great cal-mag supplement from a reliable brand. If you’re looking for something that covers all the basis, these are some top calcium pills with the added bonus of magnesium and zinc. With that being said, the serving size is 4 capsules, and this supplement is on the expensive side.

7. Swanson Calcium Citrate & Vitamin D

Swanson-Calcium-Citrate-&-Vitamin-D

Swanson Calcium Citrate & Vitamin D is a calcium vitamin supplement containing 630mg of calcium and 400iu of vitamin D. The high quality calcium citrate is used for its superior absorption properties.

Highlights:

  • 630mg calcium citrate
  • 400iu vitamin D
  • Supports a healthy lifestyle
  • Serving size is 2 capsules

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 630mg calcium citrate
  • 400iu vitamin D

Who makes it: This product is made by Swanson Health Products. Swanson is a GMP-certified supplement producer that consistently creates high quality, effective health products to meet a variety of needs. They focus on quality, purity, and consistency, while providing excellent service to their customers.

Bottom line: Overall, these are good calcium pills with the added bonus of vitamin D. The highly bioavailable formula absorbs well, so although there is less calcium in these pills than average, the increased absorption rate helps to even that out. Plus, they come from a very reputable company, and are reasonably priced.

8. Citracal Calcium + D3, Slow Release

Citracal-Calcium-and-D3-Slow-Release

Citracal Calcium + D3 is a good calcium supplement containing 1200mg of calcium as well as 1000iu of vitamin D3. Its slow-release formula absorbs slowly and steadily, helping your body fully absorb the nutrients and make use of them efficiently. It also contains a small amount of magnesium.

Highlights:

  • 1200mg calcium
  • 1000iu vitamin D3
  • Slow release formula
  • 2 tablet serving size
  • Made by one of the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1200mg calcium (as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate) w/ slow release formula
  • 1000iu vitamin D
  • 80mg magnesium (as magnesium hydroxide)

Who makes it: Citracal is made by Bayer, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, perhaps best known for their “Aspirin” brand. Founded in 1863 (yep, 1863) in Germany, Bayer has over 150 years of industry experience. They are one of the largest and most respected names in the pharmaceutical business.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a strong calcium supplement with the added benefit of slow-release nutrients. Bayer claims that this product offers superior absorption when compared to standard release formulas. The only downside is that the serving size contains 1200mg of calcium, which is above the RDA for most people.

9. Amway Nutrilite Cal Mag D Advanced

Amway-Nutrilite-Cal-Mag-D-Advanced

Amway Nutrilite Cal Mag D Advanced is an effective calcium supplement that offers all the benefits of calcium with the added plus of magnesium and vitamin D. All three of these nutrients work synergistically together in the body.

Highlights:

  • 200mg calcium
  • 200iu vitamin D
  • 7mg magnesium
  • Added zinc and manganese
  • Small serving size means more flexibility
  • Provides all the health benefits of calcium

What’s in it: One serving (1 tablets) contains:

  • 200mg calcium (as calcium carbonate and calcified seaweed)
  • 200iu vitamin D
  • 7mg magnesium (as magnesium oxide)

Who makes it: This product is made by Amway, a global multi-level marketing company that has business operations in many different categories, including supplements and health products. Amway makes high quality products and distributes them through a network of small business owners, to stimulate local economies and improve the health of their customers.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a good calcium supplement that also offers magnesium and vitamin D. The calcium dosage amount is much lower than average, but that can be useful for people who want to customize their dosage more accurately. If you need less calcium than most people, this may be the best calcium supplement for your needs.

10. Nature’s Bounty Coral Calcium

Natures-Bounty-Coral-Calcium-Plus-Vitamin-D3-and-Magnesium

Nature’s Bounty Coral Calcium is a natural calcium supplement made using mined coral calcium. It also contains magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin D3 to help increase absorption of these key nutrients.

Highlights:

  • 370mg calcium
  • 400iu vitamin D3
  • 56mg magnesium
  • Made by a very well known company
  • Affordable
  • Well reviewed

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 370mg calcium (from 1000mg coral calcium)
  • 400iu vitamin D3
  • 56mg magnesium (from magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate)

Who makes it: This product is made by Nature’s Bounty, a huge supplement manufacturer with operations worldwide. You’ve probably seen Nature’s Bounty products at your local drugstore or supermarket. Founded in 1971, the team at Nature’s Bounty has decades of industry experience, and they consistently and efficiently produce highly effective supplements.

Bottom line: Overall, this is a good calcium vitamin at a good price, and from a good company. There’s nothing really that makes it stand out, however, except for the fact that it’s made using natural coral calcium. While the label lists 1000mg on the front, that only refers to 1000mg of coral calcium. The actual calcium mineral content is only 370mg, so it’s definitely on the low side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.