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The Best Calcium Supplement Does Not Have To Be Expensive

The best calcium supplement will have all four essential vitamins and minerals we need to strengthen our bones, even when we are taking medication.

The best calcium supplement will have all of these at the recommended levels... in two tablets and at a great price.

Osteoporosis experts agree that the following minerals and vitamins are needed to build strong bones:

  • 1,000-1,500 mg of calcium
  • 800-4,000 IU of vitamin D (and possibly higher for northern regions)
  • 400 mg of magnesium
  • 120 mcg vitamin K

The best calcium supplement does not have to be expensive, as there is little relationship between retail prices and the quality that is provided.

Two tablets a day of the least expensive Caltrate formula will cost approximately $150 a year and not provide all the recommended vitamins and minerals.

A superior formula can be purchased online for approximately $30 a year. So what should the smart shopper be looking for?

Best Calcium Supplement In Two Tablets A Day

Many people have difficulty remembering to take their supplements... especially if they are also taking prescription medication.

The best calcium supplement will help to simplify life by providing the recommended vitamins and minerals in two tablets a day. (Two tablets are necessary because calcium cannot be absorbed in concentrations greater than 500-600mg).

A formula that provides 500mg of calcium, 400 IU of vitamin D, 200 mg of magnesium and 60 mcg of vitamin K per tablet will meet the recommended guidelines.

The pharmaceutical company, Wyeth, spends a lot of money marketing Caltrate but is it worth the significantly higher cost compared to other supplements?

The best calcium supplement that Wyeth sells is Caltrate Plus but it does not provide the recommended levels of magnesium or vitamin K. and it costs over $150 a year.

There are many better brands online that provide all the recommended vitamins and minerals for approximately $30 a year.

Vitamin D. Absolutely Essential...

And you are probably deficient. Osteoporosis Canada recently increased its recommendation for vitamin D intake to 800-2,000 IU daily for people over fifty.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many experts argue that people in northern regions (north of Boston) need 5,000 IU in the winter when the ultraviolet rays from the sun are too weak to produce any of the vitamin naturally.

The best calcium supplement will provide at least 400 IU of vitamin D per tablet but even this meets only the minimum requirements.

Interestingly, many countries restrict vitamin D formulas to 1,000 IU or less... which would require northern residents to take five tablets a day during the winter.

Fortunately, a six month supply of 5,000 IU gel tabs can be purchased online for approximately $20 and only one gel tab a day is necessary.

Vitamin K2

The best calcium supplement will include vitamin K but most brands provide vitamin K1 rather than K2 which has proven effective at lowering the risk of fractures.

There are two types of vitamin K2 available for osteoporosis prevention and treatment but the MK-7 formulas are increasingly popular despite the higher cost. Retail prices typically range from $120 to $225 for a year's supply... while online prices are approximately $70.

Strontium Citrate

Calcium supplements will not include strontium as calcium reduces the bioavailability of strontium by 60-70%. But research has shown that prescription strontium (taken separately from calcium) can improve bone density by 8-14% over a three year period.

Interestingly, there is no evidence that prescription strontium outperforms strontium citrate which is readily available in health food stores and online.

Retail prices for strontium citrate may be as much as $230 US for a year's supply while online prices are approximately $130 a year.

As bone building supplements must be taken for 30-40 years, shopping online for the best prices can provide significant savings as well as convenience. Savings will range from $230-450 annually for a full program of vitamins and minerals.

But even more compelling is that the savings are $9,000 to $18,000 if a person begins taking supplements at age 40 and continues until they are 80 as recommended by many doctors for people at risk of developing osteoporosis.

Online suppliers have shipped their products around the world for over half a century. The wise shopper will take advantage of their high quality and competitive prices and save significant amounts of money while their fingers do the shopping.

For price and quality comparisons of the best calcium supplement... visit the best calcium for osteoporosis page.