The bone disease known as osteoporosis affects thousands of women and can lead to bone breakage, fractures and poor spinal support. The average female adult needs 1,000 mg of calcium a day until she reaches age 51, at which she'll need 1,200 mg a day. If you're not able to get this full dosage through your dietary intake, a calcium supplement can help. If the dozens of calcium product choices on store shelves leave you feeling confused, don't worry -- health experts have identified some of the best calcium products on the market.
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Caltrate Soft Chews
If the idea of popping a handful of calcium supplements leaves a funny taste in your mouth -- or if you simply hate the idea of swallowing a chunky pill -- try a calcium candy. "Real Simple" recommends Caltrate's Soft Chews, noting that they come in decadent flavors -- "chocolate truffle" serves as one example -- while netting you the same amount of calcium that you'd get by chugging several glasses of milk. Plus, each chew comes enhanced with vitamin D, which may help your body better absorb and use the calcium.
Country Life Bone Solid
To help readers navigate the numerous health supplements available, "Better Nutrition" magazine organized a panel of 10 health practitioners, including naturopaths and physicians. The panel rated Country Life's calcium pills as one of the best supplements of 2010, calling it "genius" because it offers a mineral ratio "that your body recognizes as being closest to its own bone composition." The recommended daily serving nets you 1,011 mg of calcium.
Kirkland Signature 500 mg Calcium Plus Vitamin D
With the budget-conscious person in mind, "Consumer Reports" recommended Kirkland's calcium supplements, available through the Costco line of warehouses. The magazine notes that you don't need to pay name brand prices to get high quality and pure mineral potency and also liked the vitamin D inclusion. And unlike several of the calcium supplements tested by the publication, this product wasn't contaminated with lead.
Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews
These candy-flavored calcium supplements offer up 100 percent of your recommended daily value of calcium, along with 125 percent of the daily value of vitamin D. This calcium supplement earned a recommendation from "Women's Health" magazine and come in four candylike flavors, including chocolate mint and caramel. The magazine notes that the Viactiv calcium chews are free of coral-sourced calcium, which comes with many health claims but may actually pose harmful to your long term health.