5 On Your Side

Calcium Supplements Tested for Taste, Effectiveness

Posted October 18, 2007
Updated October 19, 2007

Osteoporosis affects about 10 million Americans, and another 34 million are at risk of getting the debilitating disease.

Regular weight-bearing exercise helps keep bones strong and healthy. Getting enough calcium is also essential.

Depending on your age, you need about 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. The best way to get it is through your diet, especially eating or drinking plenty of milk products.

Calcium supplements also help, and they don’t have to be chalky.

Consumer Reports tested five chocolate-flavored supplements, including Viactiv. The supplements all claim to pack 500 milligrams of calcium per piece as well as vitamin D ― which helps you absorb calcium.

First, testers analyzed how much calcium they contained. The results showed each product met its claim for calcium.

But what about taste? Testers found one tasted a lot like chocolate candy – the Adora calcium supplement that comes in milk chocolate and dark chocolate flavors.

“It would satisfy a chocolate craving," said Consumer Reports Tester Maxine Siegel.

Consumer Reports said either flavor is a good choice if you're not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.

Be aware that it's possible to consume too much calcium. More than 2,500 milligrams a day raises the risk of kidney stones.


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  • purplerado Oct 20, 2007

    Actually drinking milk is a bad idea. I've read that excess CA could contribute to other health problems like arthritis, bursitis, arteriosclerosis, glaucoma. It is better to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy ones, fish, almonds etc. An alkaline diet along with exercise will protect your bones. Your body tries to maintain a certain PH level and uses calcium to neutralize the acidifying effects of foods like meat and dairy and sweets. Google milk and osteoporosis to find out more.

  • mrtwinturbo Oct 20, 2007

    Beer is better for you than milk

    1. Beer has zero fat; milk is loaded with fat.

    2. Beer has zero cholesterol; milk contains 20 mg of cholesterol in every 8-oz. serving.

    3. Beer doesn't contain hormones or antibiotics, while milk contains an ever-increasing variety of the pesticides and antibiotics fed to cows, including rBGH, the notorious growth hormone that can give guys breasts.

    4. Beer has half a gram of fiber in every cup; milk has no fiber whatsoever.

    5. Beer has only 12 mg of sodium per cup. Milk is sky-high in the stuff.

    6. Beer has 3 grams of complex carbohydrates in a 12-oz. glass; milk has no complex carbohydrates.

  • doodad Oct 19, 2007

    JW, you are absolutely right!

    Most people buy vitamins and mineral supplements and manufacturers use non-bioavailable and low grades of mineral sources in order to make a profit. The BEST way to get your vitamins and minerals is from the foods you eat.

    You can buy oyster shell calcium tablets as a "calcium source" but they are not bioavailable (not metabolized or utilized) by the body.

    Phosphorus is just as important for bone structure and density as calcium, but you never hear that you need phosphorus. Magnesium is what makes the enamel hard on teeth, so if you have kids, make them drink plenty of whole cow's milk. NO SOY FOR KIDS!!!!!


  • CestLaVie Oct 19, 2007

    I always wonder why people have to have it flavored to get it down. What's wrong with just a plain old tablet?

  • JW Oct 19, 2007

    Consumer Reports did it again - another misguided and lame report. Calcium can NOT be measured by the amount of mg. Calcium Carbonate, the kind found in those tested, is only about 4 - 8% absorbable. So, even though you are "getting" 500mg of Calcium, it is REALLY only 20mG your body is able to use. The rest goes out when you hit the can. (Taste is always key, though!).
    Calcium, like that found in some Orange Juices (with Tricalcium Phosphate or something) is MUCH more useful. Even the calcium in milk, etc, is limited in its usefulness due to the heating process.
    Eat calcium plants, or a calcium chelate, or a liquid calcium NOT made from carbonate. You will be better off.

    AND, the real stinker, is that EVERYONE knows that too much calcium does NOT result in stones. Stones are ALWAYS caused by a lack of calicum and a percursor/indicator of osteoporosis. That news is so old that CR should be embarassed.

  • nobstoday32 Oct 18, 2007

    Got Milk??? No need for calcium supplements unless you are lactose intolorant