Anyone remember those once-hilarious, now-cringe “Got Milk?” ads that featured celebrities sporting milk mustaches to promote strong bones? Ah, those were the (pre-oat milk) days.
Healthy bones are no joke though — well, except for your funny bone.
Thanks to some pretty powerful marketing campaigns like that one, most of us think of calcium as the be-all and end-all for skeletal support. You might be surprised to learn that this is actually a pretty bare-bones understanding.
Calcium’s benefits reach far beyond that. It’s like the Taylor Swift of minerals — it’s everywhere. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body.
While we certainly can’t deny its supportive role in slowing bone density loss, it is also essential for muscle function, nerve transmission, and even cardiovascular health via the blood vessels.
So, it’s pretty important to make sure you’re getting enough calcium, and taking a supplement can definitely help. Whether you’re cleaning out your supplement supply or looking for a new option, we’ve got you covered!
Listen: Supplement Spring Cleaning | Wellness Upside Down Podcast Ep. 30
If you’re ready to make a cal(cium)culated decision about your calcium supplements, this is the place to be! News flash: not all calcium supplements are worth the hype. In fact, we’ve got a bone to pick with most of them.
In this article:
- How much calcium do you really need?
- How to choose the right calcium supplement
- Why we love calcium hydroxyapatite
- Ensuring your supplement has quality ingredients
- How Dr. Neal does it better
You’re Probably Not Getting Enough Calcium
Saddle up, we’re talking about everyone’s favorite micronutrient: calcium! Well, maybe it’s not exactly our favorite, but it sure is important. Micronutrient deficiencies are all too common, and calcium is no exception.
More than 40% of adults and children in the US are not getting the recommended 1000mg per day through diet alone, leading to deficiencies.
That is why you see so many different forms of calcium on the market right now, folks — supplementation has become the go-to solution, and we’re not here to harp on it.
We already did that actually, in our clickbait-esque but scientifically valid Calcium Doesn’t Work (Like You Think It Does) article.
The vitamins and minerals that support bone health, most notably calcium and vitamin D, often need a little boost to get your skeleton the TLC it deserves and needs. When supplemented properly with the right dose, strategy, and form, calcium supplementation can be a huge boon for your bones.
It’s not part of Dr. Neal’s Vital5 for kicks and giggles after all!
Choosing the Right Calcium Supplement
Some argue that calcium supplements aren’t really necessary. While there is a bit of calcium controversy, we politely — but loudly — disagree.
Learn More: Calcium Doesn’t Work (Like You Think It Does)
Calcium not only slows bone density loss, but it can also be the backbone of your overall health.
But, if you want to properly and strategically bone up your calcium intake, you’ll need to choose the right calcium supplement. Don’t be fooled by those vitamin aisles with shelves full of calcium supplements.
The sad truth is, not all calcium supplements are created equal.
The two most common forms are calcium citrate and calcium carbonate. They’re marketed as the more cost-efficient and easier-to-absorb options. But here’s the kicker: they don’t have nearly enough calcium in each pill!
That, and calcium carbonate has a neutralizing effect on stomach acid, which is why it’s used in many heartburn medications. This sounds great, but calcium carbonate requires an acidic environment in order to break down and be absorbed — as Dr. Neal would say, it is its own worst enemy.
So if you want to show your bones some real love, you’ve got to be picky with your supplements.
Calcium Forms Found in Supplements
Calcium gluconate is less Taylor Swift and more Batman, swopping in to save the day when your blood calcium levels are in distress or magnesium levels are too high.
With only 9% elemental calcium, this isn’t your best overall supplement choice.
If you’re on the hunt for some calcium lactate supplements, you can check your pantry. This bad boy makes its way into all sorts of snacks and meds.
With 13% elemental calcium, it’s good for your bones but is mostly used to soothe acid reflux.
Calcium carbonate is the big cheese with a whopping 40% elemental calcium.
But, before you get too excited, these supplements can be a bit hard on the gut and are harder to absorb.
Calcium citrate is only 21% elemental calcium, which means you’ll be swallowing those pills more often than you’d like. You can find this in many antacids, too!
Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite complex (MCHC), or calcium hydroxyapatite is considered the most beneficial form of calcium. Why?
It’s not just your average calcium supplement, it’s got a whole lot more to offer. Trust us, your bones will thank you.
Why We Love Calcium Hydroxyapatite So Dang Much
What makes calcium hydroxyapatite so great? It’s like the superhero of calcium supplements! It doesn’t just contain calcium, it’s a triple threat.
Unlike the other calcium supplements, calcium hydroxyapatite is a complete complex, including everything you need for healthy bones and body: calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium!
Calcium hydroxyapatite, or calcium MCHC for short, is the same form of calcium that our bodies store in our bones. Is that why its absorption rate is out of this world? Or why it has been shown to increase bone density better than other forms of calcium?
Maybe! What matters most to us is its bioavailability and the fact it has little GI irritation compared to other, less easily absorbed forms.
If you ask us, or better yet our founder and pharmacist of 20 years, Dr. Neal, calcium hydroxyapatite is the real deal. It’s no wonder it’s our top choice for all things calcium.
Bone Up Your Standards
By now, you know that not all calcium supplements are created equal — supplements, in general, can be a gamble.
Some provide the promised nutrients, but others are simply playing pretend with poor manufacturing, less-than-effective nutrient numbers, slick marketing, and some potentially harmful or gross additives.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to opt-in to this game of supplement roulette. Do your research and you can find high-quality supplements from reputable sources (like us!).
What quality markers should you look for? That’s easy:
- Additional Nutrients
- Quality Assurance
Calcium Form & Dosage
Choosing the right form of calcium should be a no-brainer at this point, right? Calcium hydroxyapatite is your new best friend.
Finding the right calcium dosage is a little more complex. The dose your supplement contains should be appropriate, but you’ll also need to account for your dietary intake of calcium as well when choosing how much to take per day.
Most individuals need 1000mg per day from diet and supplementation, but if you have a calcium deficiency, you may require more.
Ultimately, you should ask your healthcare provider to help you determine the best dosage for your specific needs.
How Dr. Neal does it right: You’re getting the optimal dose of calcium, but at a recommended serving of two pills per day. So, if there’s a day when you get more calcium in your diet than usual, you can easily tailor your supplement intake by simply not taking the second dose.
Calcium alone is great, but it needs its squad to really thrive. Look for supplements that contain the whole complex form — calcium hydroxyapatite or calcium MCHC — to get the additional proteins, minerals, and biological components to really feel it in your bones.
How Dr. Neal does it right: In addition to calcium, you’re getting about 200 mg of phosphorus. We even threw in some medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) to help your body absorb all that calcium goodness.
It’s like a VIP pass to maximum nutrition absorption and whole-picture bone health.
Supplements are not as regulated as standard medication. Horrifying, right?
That’s why you’ll want to choose a supplement that has been tested by a third-party organization for purity, potency, and overall quality.
How Dr. Neal does it right: Our calcium hydroxyapatite supplements are third-party tested to meet quality and compliance standards. Then, because Dr. Neal is notoriously meticulous, we test it again, just so you can rest assured that your bones — and the rest of you — are well taken care of.
Dr. Neal’s Supplement Quality Standard
Our main goal, here at Woodstock Vitamins, is to bring some of the rebellious spirit of our founding town into the wellness arena. So when it comes to rules — we don’t follow them! We exceed them.
If you’ll allow us a humble brag: Our low-heat processing keeps our products fresh and locks in all the good stuff for optimal bone support. And when we say our supplements have high bioavailability, we mean it’s practically a one-way ticket to your bones. No detours, no delays.
But we don’t just want you to be healthy, we want our whole planet to be healthy, happy, and thriving.
Have you ever heard the saying, “We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”? Sustainability is crucial to our planet’s well-being and the health of future generations. That’s why we’re committed to providing products that are ethically and sustainably sourced.
Calcium & Bone Support are Vital
To boil it all down, calcium is an essential mineral for overall health and specifically, bone health — which is why it’s included in the Vital5. While many people don’t get enough calcium through diet alone, choosing the right calcium supplement can help bridge the gap.
Calcium hydroxyapatite has proven to be the most effective form of calcium supplement due to its inclusion of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
So let’s get your bones the good stuff they need to stay strong! Meet your daily calcium goals with Woodstock Vitamins’ Calcium Hydroxyapatite supplement.
Feeling a little lost in the supplement aisle? Let’s have a chat and figure it out together! Book a free Counterside Consult to get personalized advice from an expert calcium connoisseur.