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Calcium & Vitamin D by Nature’s Bounty, Immnue Support & Bone Health, 500mg Calcium & 400IU D3, 300 TabletsWas $11.70 - check current price
Calcium & Vitamin D by Nature’s Bounty, Immune Support & Bone Health, 1200mg Calcium & 1000iu D3, 220 SoftgelsWas $19.73 - check current price
Calcium & Vitamin D by Nature’s Bounty, Immune Support & Bone Health, 1200mg Calcium & 1000IU Vitamin D3, 120 Softgels (2-Pack)Was $15.00 - check current price
Calcium Carbonate & Vitamin D by Nature’s Bounty, Supports Immune Health & Bone Health, 1200mg Calcium & 1000IU Vitamin D3, 120 SoftgelsWas $9.97 - check current price
Calcium Carbonate & Vitamin D by Nature’s Bounty, Supports Immune Health & Bone Health, 600mg Calcium & 800IU Vitamin D3, 250 TabletsWas $10.19 - check current price
Calcium Magnesium & Zinc by Nature’s Bounty, Immune Support and Supporting Bone Health, 100 CapletsWas $5.29 - check current price
Country Life Cal-Mag Veg Capsules, 120 CapsulesWas $12.74 - check current price
Country Life Cal-Snack Chewable Calcium with Magnesium (Milk-Free), 120-WaferWas $19.34 - check current price
Country Life Chewable Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D3 120 Wafers, 0.18 PoundWas $24.89 - check current price
This commonly-known supplement is most often touted for its key role in maintaining strong bones. Many people recall their parents handing them a glass of milk with every meal as a child, because it would “help them grow big, strong, and tall.” Your parents were onto something, since calcium is best absorbed when it comes from the foods we eat. That being said, many of us don’t spend every waking moment tracking our macro and micronutrients to perfection, so a calcium supplement is a stellar way to complete a healthy diet. In addition to supplementation, make sure that you are getting a variety of quality dairy, dark leafy greens, fish where you eat the bones (like sardines and canned salmon), and calcium-fortified grains.
Benefits of Calcium
Calcium does in fact work just as your mom told you growing up, it strengthens your bones! As we age our bone density declines, hence the increase in recommended daily dosage as we grow older. Bone density loss is even more prominent in women than men, due to hormonal balance. Estrogen plays a key role in bone health so the decline following menopause can cause this drop off that is best counteracted with strength training and proper calcium intake.
Beyond strengthening your bones, proper calcium intake positively impacts your nervous system, muscles, and heart. This mineral helps your blood clot properly, your muscles to contract, and it also aids in regulating your heart’s rhythm.
Types of Calcium Supplements
There are numerous kinds of calcium sold in the supplement aisle, the most common being calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Each compound contains varying amounts of the mineral calcium – calcium carbonate (40% elemental calcium) and calcium citrate (21% elemental calcium). Calcium carbonate is the cheapest and most common form to purchase, but do note that this form should be taken with food. Calcium citrate does not need to be taken with food. Note that various brands will combine the calcium supplement with vitamin D, which actually improves absorption, so consider looking for this.
How Much Calcium To Take
The baseline recommendation is 1,000 mg of calcium per day and for men 71 and older and women 51 and older, the recommendation increases to 1,200 mg per day. This is not a “more is better” sort of supplement, so refrain from taking more than 2,500 mg per day if you are under the age of 50, and no more than 2,000 mg if you are 51 and older.
When to Take Calcium
Some research shows that your body struggles to absorb more than 500 mg of calcium at a time, so it may be worth considering a smaller dosage taken more frequently. Also consider the type of calcium you are taking, as calcium carbonate is best taken with food and calcium citrate can be taken with or without food.
Side Effects of Calcium
Negative side effects of calcium are experienced when the “more is better” approach is used. There is actually a proper term for over-doing the calcium – it’s called hypercalcemia. This is a condition in which your calcium level in your blood is above normal. Hypercalcemia can weaken your bones, create kidney stones, and interfere with the interactions between your heart and your brain. Stay within recommended guidelines to avoid hypercalcemia.