Calcium is a vital nutrient - and it is particularly vital for women. Women who are pregnant or nursing need extra calcium to help fill the needs of the baby. Additionally, women are affected by osteoporosis, a bone disease that can hit in the 50s (men can also get osteoporosis, but it is rarer. The number of calcium supplements on the market is huge and can be confusing, especially as most contain other ingredients than just calcium on its own. Here are five of the best options for women concerned about bone health.
Top 5 Calcium Supplements For Women
- Kirkland Signature
- Nature’s Bounty Calcium Softgels
- Nature Made Calcium
- Country Life Bone Solid
- Viactive Calcium Soft Chews
Kirkland Signature calcium supplements have the advantage of being inexpensive - they are available in Costco. It comes with Vitamin D (which helps absorption of calcium) or zinc and magnesium (also useful for bone health). These are high quality, potent supplements without paying brand name prices. The downside, of course, is that you need a Costco membership. However, it does have great reviews. It is also gluten free (which is not true of all supplements).
- low price
- high potency
- added vitamin D
Nature’s Bounty Calcium Softgels
The Nature’s Bounty softgels contain the recommended amount of calcium for older women in one serving - with most supplements you must take two servings, at different times, which can be a challenge. They have a high level of Vitamin D3 (which, again, helps you absorb calcium) and come in a rapid release softgel, which absorbs better and faster than tablets. Being softgels, they lack the “chalky” taste sometimes associated with calcium supplements.
- rapid release softgel
- high amount per serving
- high vitamin D
Nature Made Calcium
For those who do not want a Costco membership, this is one of the more cost effective supplements, with 600 mg for serving and 220 tablets per bottle. It has a high level of calcium (600 mg) and comes with a reasonable amount of Vitamin D as well. The brand is well known and reputable and for those on a budget, this is a good option. It can also be purchased as a liquid softgel for higher absorption, although this option is a bit more expensive.
- reputable brand
- good value
- high amount per serving
Country Life Bone Solid
The advantage of this supplement is that it is designed to provide a ratio of minerals very close to the actual composition of bone. It contains MCHA, which is identical to bone composition and helps your body absorb the supplement into your bones. It also has K1, K2 and D3 vitamins and boron, which is also helpful for bones. However, it is not as straightforward a supplement as others and thus is more likely to interact with medications or something else in your diet. Also, the recommended daily amount is 6 capsules - whilst most supplements only require you to take two. This could be an issue for those who are busy.
- matches natural bone composition
- contains Boron
- added vitamin D3
Viactive Calcium Soft Chews
This is the calcium supplement for people who hate taking calcium supplements. They are calcium and vitamin D supplements that are chewable and flavored like candy. They come in chocolate and caramel flavors (just keep them out of reach of the kids). They contain a lot of vitamin D - 500IU per serving, but no coral-based calcium, which has been linked to health issues with long term use. Mostly, though, these are recommended for people who hate popping pills and like the idea of pretending that their supplements are treats. Also, this supplement contains no gelatin, although it does have glycerine, which can be from animal sources.
- candy flavored
- easy to chew
- no coral
Adult women should try to get at least 1,000 mg of calcium a day, more after the age of 51. This calcium should also be associated with sufficient Vitamin D, as Vitamin D deficiency can affect calcium absorption (this is what causes rickets in deficient children). Finding the right vitamins can help with some of the side effects of age.