Calcium Supplements For Vegans (2022 List)

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Sure, you might be able to find calcium pills in many stores, but what about calcium supplements for vegans?

Is there anything I need to keep in mind when looking for them? And do vegans really need to take a calcium supplement?

Let discuss in this dietitian written article!

Disclaimer: This article is not providing personal medical or dietary advice. Talk to your doctor before starting a supplement, about any major dietary changes or any health concerns you have. See our Disclaimers for more details.

*Consumer Notice: This post contains affiliate links that are marked in this manner: (affiliate link*)”. If you click on these links and purchase, I earn a commission at no added cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Why Do I Need Calcium?

Have you heard that you need dairy to maintain bone strength? While this is a myth, it is true that calcium (a nutrient dairy contains) is important for bone health.

In fact, calcium makes up the majority of bone and teeth structure(1)! So getting enough is important.

Other neat functions of calcium include, assisting with proper muscle function, blood clotting, and even hormone production. All of this (and more) in addition to bone health!

However, calcium does not work alone. There are several other nutrients that are crucial for our skeleton!

Other Nutrients that Support Healthy Bones

Aside from calcium, other minerals and (and a vitamin) are important for healthy bones.

They include:

  • Magnesium: helps with bone structure (2)
  • Vitamin D: aids in the absorption of calcium (3)
  • Phosphorus: along with calcium, this mineral helps to make up hydroxyapatite, a main component of bones and tooth enamels(4).

What is the Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA)?

The RDA for calcium is 1000 milligrams (1) per day for adults aged 19-50 years old.

Because we are all unique and have different medical histories, talk to your doctor about your individual needs.

Since vegans do not consume the number one source of calcium (in the United States): dairy(1), do vegans need to pop a calcium supplement?

Lets talk about that next!

Are Vegans More Likely to Have a Calcium Deficiency?

Some studies suggest that those on vegan diets do not consume as much calcium as individuals on certain non-vegan diets(5).

One recent systematic review and meta-analysis compared calcium intake between vegans and omnivores. The study suggests that the adult vegans had a statistically significant lower calcium intake (mean calcium intake of 729 mg/day) in comparison to the omnivorous adults (mean calcium intake of 993 mg/day) (6).

While the average vegans in that study fell short of the calcium RDA from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for adult (1), interestingly, they met/come close to UK guidelines! That is – 700 milligrams of calcium per day for non breastfeeding adults 19 years and older (7).

So, do vegans consume less calcium than other dietary patterns? Yes- that is mounting research does seems to support that assumption.

However, whether or not vegans are more likely to have an actual calcium deficiency as a result of lower calcium intake is yet to be confirmed.

This is because low blood levels of calcium could be related to other factors aside from calcium intake. For example, issues with parathyroid glands, vitamin D deficiency, or kidney failure could contribute to low calcium levels (8).

Case in point: when you go vegan, don’t forget about calcium!

Alack of information about plant based sources of calcium may contribute to lower calcium intake that we see in these studies.

To address this, lets talk about the plant based sources of calcium, before we dive into calcium supplements.

After all, we love to take a food first approach (if at all possible)!

Calcium Strong Foods on a Vegan Diet

It certainly is possible to meet the RDA for calcium through vegan sources (no dairy milk involved)!

The list below includes plant based calcium foods with the calcium content in milligrams (mg). These values are approximates rounded up when applicable, and obtained from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 Calcium(9), unless noted as “variable.”

Please note, this list does not include every single plant based calcium option. That would be super long. 😉

Without further ado, here is a list of vegan friendly calcium sources:

  • Calcium Set Tofu Ex: raw prepared with calcium sulfate (434 mg calcium per 1/2 cup)
  • Edamame (98 mg of calcium per cup)
  • Tempeh (184 mg of calcium per cup)
  • Natto (380 mg of calcium per cup)
  • Calcium Fortified Plant Based “Milk, cheeses, and yogurts.” (variable, for example, ~55-450 mg of calcium per serving).
  • Broccoli (frozen, boiled, 61 mg calcium per cup)
  • Low Oxalate vegetables, like bok choy and kale (chopped kale contains about 137 mg of calcium per cup)
  • Almonds (96 mg of one-fourth a cup)
  • Dates (about 30 mg per two pitted medjool dates)
  • Figs (dried- 60 mg per one-fourth a cup)
  • Sesame Seeds (including tahini, a spread made from sesame seeds- about 64 mg per tablespoon of tahini)
  • White Beans (161 mg per cup)
  • Pinto Beans (canned, solids + liquid- 113 mg per cup)
  • Oranges (72 mg per cup of sections)
  • Sweet Potato (76 per cup)
  • Molasses (173 mg per one fourth cup)
graphic showing some plant based foods that contain calcium, including calcium fortified beverages and tofu, edamame, kale, broccoli, and orange.

Case in point: there are several ways to meet calcium requirements as a vegan! And some sources contain lots, while others contain smaller amounts of the mineral.

For example, one cup of raw chopped scotch kale contains about 137 milligrams of calcium. You’d have to eat lot of kale to meet the RDA for adults!

Now knowledge of calcium rich plant based foods important, but one other factor is as well: absorption!

That’s why spinach wasn’t mentioned in our list above.

While spinach contains calcium, absorption is low-likely related to the high presence of oxalates, which bind calcium (10).

As another example, the calcium in kale is more bioavailable than sweet potatoes, again, potentially due to oxalate content as well(11).

For these reasons, fortified plant based milks, or even a small calcium supplement may be helpful to include- but talk to your doctor first.

He/she can help you decide if a supplement is needed. Make sure your health care provider knows about the food sources of calcium you include regularly when you talk about supplements.

Which brings us to the topic at hand- vegan calcium supplements!

The drug store options can be down right confusing. So lets talk about the different forms of calcium first!

Forms Of Calcium Found In Supplements

Calcium carbonate, gluconate, ascorbate: what do they all have in common?

These (and more) are forms of calcium that you may find in your calcium supplement.

In this section, we’ll go over the most common ones you may find and and important things to know about them.

FYI: You will see the term “elemental calcium” mentioned. This refers to the predicted amount of calcium that the body can utilize for bones, teeth, etc.

Calcium Carbonate

This type is approximately 40% elemental calcium(11). You may see it in a lot of supplements because it is commonly known as the cheapest form of calcium.

This article from MedlinePlus suggests that it is best to take calcium carbonate with meals.

Calcium Citrate

Calcium citrate contains about 21% elementals calcium.

While this is less than carbonate, Calcium citrate may be better absorbed than calcium carbonate if you have low levels of stomach acid(11).

Calcium citrate may be more expensive than carbonate, however, some sources suggest that this type of calcium can be taken with or without food (1), which may be useful for some individuals.

Other Forms

While probably less common the the ones mentioned above, you may see other forms of calcium such as:

  • Calcium Gluconate
  • D-Glucarate
  • Calcium Lactate
  • Calcium Sulfate
  • Calcium Ascorbate
  • Calcium Phosphate
  • Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite – FYI: This type may not be vegan friendly as it may come from animal bones (12).

Alright, so now that we have an overview of the different forms of calcium, what else should we keep on the radar when looking for top notch supplements?

What To Look For In Higher Quality Supplements

In the United States, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has authority regarding dietary supplement, however, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements for labeling, safety and effectiveness prior to being available on the market(13).

So, if individual companies are responsible for providing the public with safe products, you might want to examine their testing processes right?

That’s why you may have heard to check that a third party company tested the product.

This means that someone other than the company has tested the supplement (what they test for will vary, and could include, product identity, heavy metals, potency, etc).

The following organizations are examples of companies that provide third party testing for supplements(14):

If you have questions about a supplement company’s testing process, ask them!

Get Your Doctors Approval Before Starting a Calcium Supplement

It is imperative to talk to your doctor before starting any supplement.

This is important for a variety of reasons including:

  • The supplement could interact with other medications/supplements you are on.
  • You need to be aware of the correct dose and form tailored for you.

There is some research that suggests calcium supplements may increase the risk of adverse health consequences, like heart disease (15). However many questions remain: The calcium dose may have been too high.

We need more research on these calcium supplements.

We’ll say it again for the people in the back! Talk to your doctor about your dietary pattern if you think that your calcium intake is low.

In conjunction with your medical history and any tests, he/she can discuss if a supplement may be beneficial. Be sure to ask them about the risks and benefits to supplementation vs increasing your calcium intake via food!

With that being said, lets get to our list of calcium supplements that are vegan friendly.

Calcium Supplements For Vegans – A List

In order for a calcium supplement to be vegan, it must be devoid of any animal products.

Common ingredients you may find in supplements that are not vegan include gelatin, and dairy.

Because synthetic food coloring is a grey area for vegans due to repeated animal testing, some vegans also avoid these ingredients in supplements.

We did a search for calcium supplements that are also vegan, and came up with the ones below! It is not a comprehensive list, and we can not guarantee the accuracy- remember, ingredients can change.

Under each supplement, we added some notes that mean the following:

  • Form of Calcium: Either citrate, carbonate, or other forms.
  • Price: Based off the non discounted price (rounded up or down as applicable) on the respective websites.
    $ = under 35 cents per serving
    $$ = 36 to 50 cents per serving
    $$$ = over 1 dollar per serving. FYI: Servings are different for each product! And prices can change, so this rating may not be 100% correct. Always check the price before you purchase.
  • Testing?: Does the company use third party testing? If it is not clear, you may want to ask them!
  • Other Ingredients: Are binders and fillers included? We included this category because some individuals want to avoid synthetic binders or fillers.

We included our top picks first. The rest are listed simply because they are options available for a vegan friendly lifestyle.

Lastly, the supplements listed below are calcium only supplements. This means that they only contain calcium, and not mixtures of minerals (and that’s why you won’t see supplements like Deva Vegan Calcium Magnesium Plus below 😉 ).

Now on to the list!

Consumer Notice: Our top pick contains an affiliate link that is marked in this manner (affiliate link*). If you click on the link and purchase, I earn a commission at no added cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Picture of the top of a Pure Encapsulations supplement

Pure Encapsulations Calcium Citrate (Top Pick )

  • Form of Calcium: citrate
  • Price $
  • Testing?: They utilize independent certified labs to test the ingredients they use. While not stated on the product page, it appears, has tested this supplement according to this source.
  • Other Ingredients: vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water), ascrobyl palmitate.

We love that this supplement was tested by a third party testing company-

Some other things that many may find appealing about Pure Encapsulations supplements are that they state to be free from:

  • Unnecessary binders, preservatives, and fillers
  • Artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors
  • Tree nuts, peanuts, and eggs (these are some of the common allergens). Their supplements are also gluten free.

You can find Pure Encapsulations Calcium Citrate here (affiliate link*):

NutriCology Calcium Citrate

Solaray Calcium Citrate Chewables 1000 mg

  • Form of Calcium: citrate
  • Price: $$$
  • Testing?: The product page says that this product is lab verified for potency, purity and identity. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: Sorbitol, Orange Juice Powder, Cellulose, Citric Acid, Guar Gum, Stearic Acid, Silica, Natural Orange Flavor with other Natural Flavors and Stevia.

Solaray Calcium Citrate 1000 mg

Now Foods Calcium Carbonate Pure Powder

  • Form of Calcium: carbonate
  • Price: $
  • Testing?: The product page notes it is quality tested in the USA. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: None.

Now Foods Calcium Citrate Pure Powder

  • Form of Calcium: citrate
  • Price: $
  • Testing?: The product page notes it is quality tested in the USA. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: None

Kal Calcium Citrate 1000

  • Form of Calcium: citrate
  • Price: $$
  • Testing?: Kal has their own lab for testing ingredients. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Silica and Magnesium Stearate.

Nature’s Blend Dietary Supplements Calcium Carbonate 600 mg

  • Form of Calcium: Carbonate
  • Price: $
  • Testing?: Nature’s Blend products are quality checked by their in-house analytical laboratory. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: Modified Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Maltodextrin, Acacia Gum, Magnesium Stearate, Silica, Titanium Dioxide, Polyethylene Glycol.

Nature’s Blend Dietary Supplements Chewable Calcium 500 mg

  • Form of Calcium: Carbonate
  • Price: $
  • Testing?: Nature’s Blend products are quality checked by their in-house analytical laboratory. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: Sugar, Sorbitol, Maltodextrin, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Acacia Gum, Artificial Flavors.

Carlson Chelated Calcium

  • Form of Calcium: Glycinate chelate
  • Price: $$
  • Testing?: Unsure where this information is on
  • Other Ingredients: Cellulose, steric acid (veg.) croscarmellose sodium, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate (veg.), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, pharmaceutical glaze.

Carlson Chewable Calcium Citrate

  • Form of Calcium: glycinate chelate
  • Price: $
  • Testing?: Non-GMO tested. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: Dextrose, sorbitol, cellulose, natural flavors, stearic acid (veg.), magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide.

Source Naturals CCM Calcium

Source Naturals Calcium Citrate

Solgar Chewable Calcium 500 mg Wafers

  • Form of Calcium: carbonate
  • Price: N/A, you may want to double check at
  • Testing?: This post via says that Solgar has an extensive testing process. Unsure if this supplement is third party tested.
  • Other Ingredients: Natural Sweetener (granulated cane sugar), Vegetable Magnesium Stearate, Natural Flavors (vanilla and coconut with other natural flavors), Silica.

Final Words

Vegans may not eat dairy, but they have several plant based options that are rich in calcium! These include calcium fortified plant based beverages, low oxalate green vegetables, and calcium set tofu.

Still, some research suggests vegans may consume less calcium than some other dietary patterns (6). Talk to your doctor about your eating pattern and whether increasing calcium rich foods or a supplement is right for you. Make sure he/she explains the risks and benefits of both options.

Finally, vegans should be aware that some supplements contain animal products, like gelatin and dairy. And reputable supplements that use third party testing for safety is important. Read the labels, and contact the company if you have questions about their testing procedures or ingredients.

Did you learn something new about supplements and vegan friendly whole food calcium sources? Any other questions? Let us know in the comments below!
And while you’re here, why not explore the blog? Topics include vegan sources of biotin, iodine, vitamin B12, and more!
Sign up for Plant Powered You’s  e-mail subscribers list for more helpful posts about a vegan nutrition, and…
may the fork be with you!

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