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Is Calcium Caltrate Worth The Extra Cost In Osteoporosis Treatment?

Calcium caltrate is possibly the most expensive generic calcium that exists. Is the high price worth it... or are we paying for the advertising?

Caltrate products consist of calcium carbonate... which is made of limestone, just like other calcium carbonate supplements. (Limestone costs about $100 a ton.)

But Caltrate tablets that include vitamin D cost 12-32 cents a pill, which is $90-$230 annually for two pills daily.

By comparison, Puritan's Pride provides its Bone Care tablets (shipping directly to consumers) for less than 4 cents a pill or $26 annually.

Unlike Caltrate, Puritan's Pride Bone Care also provides the recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium and vitamin K ... in addition to the daily requirement for calcium and vitamin D.

Equally important, its tablets are produced under the very stringent Good Manufacturing Standards – a distinction that few vitamin companies can claim.

There is no evidence that Caltrate products provide additional value for their premium prices.

In fact, a study published in 1991 specifically compared the absorption of Caltrate to two other brands of calcium carbonate supplements (Sandocal and Calsup) and found no statistical difference.

(Need AG, Horowitz M, Morris HA, Nordin BE, "Effects of three different calcium preparations on urinary calcium and hydroxyproline excretion in postmenopausal osteoporotic women." Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jul;45(7):357-61

Consumers who expect to be purchasing calcium supplements for 30 to 40 years can save a significant amount of money by taking the time to do some comparison shopping.

Canadians should be particularly cautious, as calcium Caltrate products in Canadian retail outlets are two to three times more costly than the identical product sold in the United States.

A year's supply of Puritan's Pride Bone Care will provide recommended levels of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K for less than $30 a year.

To compare calcium Caltrate with Puritan's Pride Bone Care... visit our best calcium page.