A review of calcium preparations

Nutr Rev. 1994 Jul;52(7):221-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.1994.tb01427.x.


There are more than a dozen commonly prescribed calcium supplements and hundreds of different formulations commercially available. Numerous factors need to be considered when selecting a calcium preparation. Physical properties such as solubility, interference from coingested medications or foodstuffs, dosage, and timing can all affect the bioavailability of calcium. Medical conditions such as lactose intolerance, impaired gastric acid secretion, and high risk profile for kidney stone formation may impact on selection of a calcium supplement. This article will review the available literature and make general recommendations for the optimal use of calcium preparations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Achlorhydria / metabolism
  • Biological Availability
  • Bone Development / drug effects
  • Calcium / adverse effects*
  • Calcium / economics
  • Calcium / pharmacokinetics
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Calcium, Dietary / analysis
  • Calcium, Dietary / therapeutic use
  • Food, Fortified / adverse effects
  • Food, Fortified / economics
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Kidney Calculi / etiology
  • Lactase
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • beta-Galactosidase / deficiency


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Lactase
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Calcium