Calcium makes up approximately two percent of your total body weight. It helps in many essential body functions such as absorption of other nutrients and disease prevention.
During pregnancy, your intestines absorb double the amount of this mineral. So your body even steals calcium from your bones or teeth to give it to your little one. Do you want your bones and teeth to stay strong, and prevent osteoporosis later in life? You can get your additional quota through calcium supplement for women.
If you’re pregnant, try to get at least 1000mg of best calcium supplement on a daily basis. If you’re 18 or younger, you need at least 1300mg every day. There are also upper limits for calcium intake. The cap is 2,500 milligrams per day for adults till age 50. For people over 50, it is 2000 mg per day.
Who needs the best calcium supplement for women?
Studies say that calcium supplement for pregnant women protects against low-birthweight in newborns and lowers blood pressure in your kids thus helping to prevent hypertension in the next generation.
Though you may obtain calcium from natural sources, it would be beneficial if you supplement it during the second and third trimester of your pregnancy and lactation.
Experts recommend calcium supplement for pregnant women to be of 500 to 1000 mg in addition to dietary measures in women with lactose intolerance, chronic autoimmunologic disorders, low-molecular-weight-heparin therapy during pregnancy and women who prefer to avoid milk or dairy products due to personal preference
What is Calcium?
Calcium is found plentiful in your body. 99 percent of this mineral is used to sustain your skeletal structures and function. It also plays a pivotal role in cell signaling, muscle contraction, blood clotting and nerve function. Your cells use calcium to activate specific enzymes, receive and send neurotransmitters during communication with other cells and transport ions across the cellular membrane
It is one of the key players in maintaining a regular heartbeat. Studies say that calcium along with vitamin D may protect against cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Not all the calcium consumed is absorbed in your gut. You can absorb only 30% of calcium from foods. But the absorption rate varies depending upon the food consumed. If you consume too much calcium, the efficiency of its absorption decreases.
The total calcium absorption is high as 60% in infants and young children. The rate of absorption decreases to 15-20% in adulthood and continues to decline as we age. Phytic acid and oxalic acid which is naturally present in some plants can bind to it and inhibit its absorption.
Foods that are rich in oxalic acid include collard greens, spinach, sweet potatoes, beans, and rhubarb. Foods that contain high amounts of the phytic acid include beans, seeds, nuts, whole grain products, soy isolates and wheat bran. Vitamin D which you can obtain from food or produced by your skin when exposed to sunlight increases calcium absorption.
Some absorbed calcium gets eliminated from your body through urine, feces, and sweat. This amount gets affected due to sodium and protein intakes, alcohol intake, caffeine intake, phosphorous and fruits and vegetable intake.
During pregnancy, it is advisable to include the best calcium supplement for women. Common calcium supplement is labeled as follows
- Calcium carbonate (40 percent elemental calcium)
- Calcium gluconate (9 percent elemental calcium)
- Calcium citrate (21 percent elemental calcium)
- Calcium lactate (13 percent elemental calcium)
The primary forms of the calcium supplement for women are citrate and carbonate. The other forms of include gluconate and lactate. Some supplemental forms may also contain magnesium or Vitamin D. You must check the ingredient list to see the type of calcium present and what other nutrients it may provide.
Calcium carbonate is more commonly available and is inexpensive and convenient. It depends on stomach acid for absorption. So gets efficiently absorbed when you take it along with food. But you can take calcium citrate with or without food. It works best for people with inflammatory bowel disease, achlorhydria, and absorption disorders.
You can find the elemental calcium listed in the supplement facts panel. The percentage you can absorb from the best calcium supplement for women depends upon the total amount of elemental calcium that you consume at a time. Your body absorbs highest amounts of calcium in ≤500 mg doses. If you’re taking 1000mg of supplement, divide it into two 500mg and take it at different times during the day.
If you’re pregnant, then calcium supplementation during pregnancy reduces your risk of preeclampsia. It is a severe medical condition in which a pregnant woman develops hypertension and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. This situation is the leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. It affects around 14% of pregnancies worldwide.
Inadequate intakes of calcium, over an extended period, might cause osteopenia (a condition in which your protein and mineral content of bone gets reduced). If left untreated it can lead to osteoporosis. It also increases the bone fracture risk, especially in adults. Calcium deficiency may also cause rickets. The calcium deficiency disease is called as hypocalcemia.
The causes include inadequate calcium intake during childhood, medications that decrease calcium absorption, hormonal changes especially in women, dietary intolerance to foods rich in calcium and specific genetic factors. Pancreatitis, renal failure, septic shock, massive blood transfusions, hungry bone syndrome, hyperphosphatemia and hypermagnesemia and hypomagnesemia can also cause hypocalcemia.
The symptoms of hypocalcemia include confusion or memory loss, numbness, and tingling in the hands, feet, and face, muscle spasms, hallucinations, depression, muscle cramps, weak and brittle nails, slower hair growth, fragile thin skin and bones that are vulnerable to fractures. Calcium plays a vital role in both in muscle contractions and neurotransmitter release. So it can cause seizures in otherwise healthy people.
What are the Benefits of Calcium Supplements for Pregnant Women?
The WHO recommends calcium supplementation for women from the 20th week, until the end of pregnancy especially for those who have a high risk of gestational hypertension. On an average, your fetus demands 30g of calcium by the end of gestation: 50mg per day during the second trimester and 250mg/day during the third quarter.
Reduces risk of preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure. If you don’t treat this condition, it can result in eclampsia. Eclampsia may cause convulsions and seizures, dangerous to you and your baby. If you develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, it can cause preterm birth. If you have an adequate supply of calcium, then you can reduce the risk of preterm delivery.
Fewer PMS symptoms
A study published by the National Institute of Mental Health found women who took 120mg of calcium per day, reduced most of their PMS symptoms by 50%. This mineral reduces PMS symptoms like dizziness, mood swings, hypertension and much more. Low levels of calcium trigger the release of hormones that are responsible for mood swings, including depression and irritability.
Pregnancy can be an excellent time for bone health because you’re able to absorb more calcium. Your body creates bone strengthening estrogen which facilities the absorption of calcium. And your overall skeleton gets strength training, thanks to the weight of your baby.
If there is a deficiency in calcium, the body will release parathyroid hormone. This hormone will stimulate your bones, to release calcium into your bloodstream which maintains the balance. Parathyroid hormone can also stimulate fat production and prevents its breakdown. So right amounts of calcium are essential to prevent obesity.
Protects cardiac muscles
Adequate amounts of calcium help cardiac muscles to relax and contract properly. It encourages your nervous system to maintain proper pressure in your arteries.
Prevents colon cancer
Calcium in sufficient amounts reduces your risk of colon cancer. It also suppresses the growth of polyps that lead to cancer. Proper supplementation reduces the risk of adenomas and nonmalignant tumors of the colon. The excess mineral on its way through the colon binds with cancer promoters, and together they are excreted from your body.
Prevents kidney stones
Getting too little calcium in your diet could make your oxalate levels to shoot up and cause kidney stones. So make sure to take the recommended level of this mineral. Try to obtain your RDA mainly from foods, since some studies link calcium supplements to kidney stones.
Controls alkaline pH levels
Excess sugar, junk foods, and preserved foods contribute to the formation of acidity in your body. It gives rise to various diseases like cancer, hypertension, and kidney stones. Calcium aids to maintain a healthy pH level thereby enhances your vitality and overall health.
This mineral keeps your jawbone sturdy throughout life. This action results in tightfitting teeth where bacteria cannot thrive. To ensure problem-free gums and teeth, include adequate calcium in your diet.
Protects against osteoporosis
Supplementation of calcium has been one of the standard treatment methods, to prevent and decrease osteoporosis for decades. Osteoporosis is a disease most common in postmenopausal women. It results in weak, fragile bones overtime due to bone deterioration and loss of bone mineral and mass. Calcium along with vitamin K, protein, and vitamin D helps reduce your risk of bone-related problems.
Lowers blood pressure
Supplemental dietary calcium helps to reduce high blood pressure. Diets restricted in this mineral increase blood pressure. In research studies, participants have experienced a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure after taking the calcium supplements.
Experts believe that best calcium supplements for women may alter your blood pressure by changing the metabolism of other electrolytes. It also plays a part in blood vessel activity and muscle strength, which is a massive plus during pregnancy.
What are the Points to Consider While Choosing a Calcium Supplement for Women?
While selecting the best calcium supplement, try to read the nutrition label. You must look at the amount of elemental calcium, not the milligrams or grams of calcium that’s written. These supplements cause a few side effects such as constipation, bloating and gas. Calcium carbonate is the most constipating. You can try a few different brands to find the one that you tolerate best.
Some of the calcium supplements for women can interact with bisphosphonates, blood pressure medications, synthetic thyroid hormones, antibiotics and calcium channel blockers. Along with supplements, if you eat calcium-fortified foods, you may be ingesting more of this mineral than you realize. Check your supplement and food labels, to see how much total calcium you’re getting a day.
What are the Best Calcium Supplements for Women?
Food-Based Calcium provides you the added “bone density support” that you need every day in one tablet. It contains 500 milligrams of calcium to support healthy bones and teeth. This calcium supplement for women also contains 250 milligrams of magnesium and 500 IU of vitamin D3 to promote increased calcium absorption and retention.
This natural vegetarian formula has stinging nettle, horsetail, and the superfood spirulina as its ingredients. This supplement helps to fuel natural energy, buffer minerals, and help with digestion and utilization.
This product is safe to use, potent and goes easy on your stomach. If you follow the prescribed dose correctly, it can help keep your bones stay healthy and active.
- Gentle on stomach
- Natural and free of artificial colors
- Safe for those with common food allergies.
- Size of pill is large
Adequate nutrition and physical activity are essential during pregnancy. Each serving of this supplement provides 500 mg of calcium and 400 IU of Vitamin D3. The vitamin D present in this supplement boosts your calcium absorption. This product is guaranteed to meet high-quality standards. It is made from carefully selected ingredients under strict manufacturing processes.
“Product is as described. Easy to swallow. Doesn’t upset my stomach and I’m taking this along with prenatal and fish oil,” says Ludetke, an Amazon, product reviewer.
- United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Verified
- No Color Added
- No Artificial Flavors
- No Yeast
- No Preservatives
- Gluten free
- Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.
- Tablets are slightly on the larger side
PeaPod Cal-Mag provides an ideal supplementation of calcium and magnesium along with vitamin D3. The optimal intake of nutrients is essential during pregnancy and lactation when a woman’s nutrient stores are tapped to ensure her growing child gets adequate nourishment.
This supplement contains calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide the two commonly used forms of calcium and magnesium in dietary supplements. It also includes magnesium citrate and calcium citrate. Because calcium and magnesium are best absorbed in an acidic environment, the citrate (an acid) forms of these minerals can optimize absorption, especially if you suffer from low stomach acid production.
“Perfect amount of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D! Please pay attention to 2 capsules per serving. I used this in addition to my prenatal multivitamin as encouraged by my doctor. I am continuing to take it while I breastfeed. Excellent product!” Says Becky Ann a verified purchase reviewer.
- Recommended by the American Pregnancy Association
- Enhances calcium absorption
- Some reviewers say it does not reduce muscle cramps
- Size of pill is big
VIACTIV offers you a bone-strengthening formula in a convenient package. The Individually-wrapped chews provide: Calcium – crucial for bone strength, Vitamin D – helps bones absorb calcium, Vitamin K – aids in the formation of bone proteins. Calcium works synergistically with vitamin D to increase bone mineral density and modulate bone metabolism. Vitamin K has a positive effect on calcium balance.
“I have a swallowing issue, and large pills are a nightmare. Even trying so-called small pills were a problem. I found the Viactiv soft chews to be a good alternative. No vitamin burp, tasty for vitamins with a pleasant chocolate taste, soft and easy to chew and swallow,” says Becky a verified purchase reviewer.
- Contains calcium, vitamin D, and K
- Easy to chew and swallow
- Tastes great
- Avoid it if you’re on blood thinners because of the presence of vitamin K.
Citracal Slow-Release 1200 contains calcium as a blend of citrate and carbonate and a high level of Vitamin D3 to help support your bone health. According to research studies, your body efficiently absorbs calcium in small amounts. This supplement slowly and continuously releases small amounts of calcium plus Vitamin D3 for efficient absorption in a single dose.
“My doctor suggested I use Citracal with Calcium D Slow Release. My bones were not as strong as they should be. Happy to report my bone density is better!” Says Daria a verified Amazon purchase reviewer.
- Supports bone health
- Vitamin D3 helps your body absorb calcium
- Slo-Cal(R) technology
- Large-size pills
- May cause nausea, stomach pain and intestinal bloating
- Due to its sustained release of calcium, seek medical advice if you’re on prescription medication.
New Chapter Calcium Supplement with Vitamin K2 + D3
“From my extensive research, I was also aware that calcium alone might not be enough. A bone is a living system far more complex than just being a calcium bank. Like bricks need mortar, calcium needs companion vitamins and other minerals to be properly used in the body.” Says Paul Schulick, New Chapter’s Founder
The New Chapter Calcium supplement contains plant-sourced porous, calcium. This calcium is part of an intricate matrix of minerals that get organized in a natural honeycomb structure. For holistic bone health, this supplement delivers whole-food calcium, magnesium, and various other trace minerals. The proprietary blend of Vitamins K2 and D3 in this supplement help your body absorb calcium appropriately and efficiently.
ealth, this supplement delivers whole-food calcium, magnesium, and various other trace minerals. The proprietary blend of Vitamins K2 and D3 in this supplement help your body absorb calcium appropriately and efficiently.
- Easy-to-Swallow slim tablets
- Plant-sourced whole-food calcium
- Vegetarian friendly
- Sustainably Harvested
- Non-GMO verified
- Contains fermented soy and fermented wheat
- Not good for Celiacs
Our Choice for the Best Calcium Supplement for Pregnant Women
While comparing the best calcium supplements for women, we found Rainbow Light Food-Based Calcium to be the best because it is entirely natural, potent and scientifically safe.
This product is gentle on your stomach, a factor that is highly essential for pregnant women. It is safe for those with most common food allergies. It is vegan and vegetarian-friendly and comes in BPA free EcoGuard bottles reducing the packaging carbon footprint by about 92 percent.
Majority of the users are satisfied with the results. The most welcoming aspect of this supplement among users is that it is natural and gentle on the stomach. Being a “Vegetarian Based Calcium” is a huge plus.
The reviewers feel that the price is very reasonable. “Reasonable price with great Ingredients,” writes Uyen Nguyen a verified purchaser of this supplement. Only a handful of users are concerned about the size of the capsules. But the majority say that the tablets are of average size, and they can swallow it quickly.
The main aim of using supplements during pregnancy is to deliver a healthy baby, OHP a user of this supplement sums up her experience with this product beautifully.
“I am a vegetarian and had been taking this calcium supplement during the entire pregnancy. My baby is very healthy; full-term and born 8 lbs 2 oz and 20″. She has good muscle reflex and strong fingernails — a sign of sufficient calcium supply. The pediatrician says her bones and muscles are well developed. It’s even better this product is gluten-free and vegetarian. Will continue taking it as a woman needs lots extra calcium when nursing.”
We’ve given you some of the best calcium supplements for women. It’s up to you to choose what’s the best calcium supplement is for you. Do keep in mind that your body may react differently to certain supplements. So choose the one that suits your system thoroughly.