New research makes calcium sound like a wonder drug. Along with strengthening your bones, it may also lower the risk of colon cancer, reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, even help you lose weight.
But most of us get too little calcium in our diet. Consumer Reports just tested supplements that can help.
You see all kinds of calcium supplements in stores. There's calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, some made from oyster shells ad others made from coral.
Consumer Reports just tested 30 different kinds of calcium supplements. Dr. Marvin Lipman reviewed the results.
All of the brands that Consumer Reports tested contained the amounts of calcium promised on the label. But some also contain lead at levels that we think make them a poor choice.
Another problem turned up in a second test. This device simulates how calcium dissolves in your stomach. Some of the supplements didn't dissolve properly, which means they might not be absorbed adequately into your body.
Based on the testing, Consumer Reports says these four calcium supplements are poor choices. Two from Rite Aid, 600 milligram with and without vitamin D.
One called Coral Calcium daily and barefoot Coral Calcium Plus. It turns out the two coral supplements were also the most expensive.
In order to get a daily dose of 1,000 milligrams of calcium, you have to take six to eight tablets and that can cost well over $1.
In contrast, you only need two of these pills at a cost of just four cents a day. They're Kirkland Signature Calcium 500 milligrams from Costco. They were top-rated in Consumer Reports' tests.
The amount of calcium you need depends on your age and how often you eat. Calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, and tofu.