Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Why should calcium be taken in conjunction with vitamin D?

    Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is either derived from the diet or produced by our exposure to sunshine, which can vary throughout the year. So in addition to getting enough calcium in your diet through food or supplements, you must be sure to get enough vitamin D as well, to help calcium absorption.

  • What is calcium?

    Calcium is an element that occurs naturally. It is present in foods such as milk, cheese and other dairy products, in broccoli, kale and other dark green vegetables, and in salmon and sardines with bones.

  • What is calcium carbonate, and what are its advantages?

    Calcium supplements provide elemental calcium. Two forms of elemental calcium are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate is nature's most concentrated form of calcium, and the form of calcium found in most Caltrate® products+++. Calcium carbonate yields about twice the amount of elemental calcium than equal amounts of calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate products generally come in a smaller number of tablets than products using calcium citrate because they have a higher concentration of calcium.

  • Why is calcium important?

    Calcium is an essential nutrient that helps build and maintain healthy teeth and bones. Calcium also plays a role in muscle contraction, blood clotting and nerve function.* Most notably, as part of a healthy diet, adequate calcium throughout life may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a disease that's characterized by a decrease in bone mass and an increase in bone fractures.


    Calcium is important to people of all genders and ages. Men would benefit by taking calcium supplements; one in eight men over 50 years of age will sustain an osteoporosis-related fracture in his lifetime. Calcium is also important for children. Recent scientific research has determined that even postmenopausal women can benefit from calcium intake as this can help slow the rate of bone loss. Adequate calcium throughout life, including during peak bone-mass-building years, as part of a healthful diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

  • What is osteoporosis?

    Osteoporosis, often called "brittle bone disease," is a condition in which bones become fragile and are more likely to break. When you don't get enough calcium to support bodily functions such as muscle contraction and blood clotting, your body takes what it needs from your bones. Over time, this can lead to pitted, porous and brittle bones: osteoporosis.  
    The disease can develop from calcium deficiency, poor diet, tobacco use or lack of exercise. It occurs in both women and men.

  • Can women who take estrogen still benefit from a calcium supplement?

    Women experiencing menopause need increased amounts of calcium due to less calcium absorption associated with menopause. For more specific questions about estrogen and calcium supplements, consult your physician.

  • How is Caltrate® different from other calcium supplements?

    Caltrate® has been clinically tested for proven absorption and provides calcium carbonate,+++ the most concentrated form of calcium. This means that most people who get calcium in their diet are likely to need only one serving of Caltrate to get the 1200mg of calcium recommended by the Institute of Medicine for adults 51 years and older.

  • What formulas is Caltrate® available in?

    Caltrate® is available in four different formulas to suit your calcium supplement needs:

    • Caltrate 600+D3 that contain calcium and vitamin D3 in a tablet form.
    • Caltrate 600+D3 Soft Chews that contain calcium and vitamin D3 in a soft chew form.
    • Caltrate Gummy Bites that contain calcium and vitamin D3 in a gummy form.
    • Caltrate 600+D3 Plus Minerals that contain calcium and vitamin D3 plus four essential minerals in a tablet and chewable tablet form.
  • How well is the calcium in Caltrate® tablets absorbed?

    When Caltrate® tablets are taken with food, the absorption rate is approximately the same as that of milk - about one-third. Exactly how much calcium is absorbed depends on the individual. Note: When physicians recommend 600 mg of calcium, they're recommending taking 600 mg, not absorbing 600 mg.

  • Is Caltrate® safe?

    Doctors consider Caltrate® one of the most trusted, carefully developed calcium supplements that you can buy. That's why it's the #1 selling brand of calcium supplements in the United States and globally. And that's why it has been used in several major clinical studies assessing the benefits of calcium on osteoporosis.

  • How many Caltrate® tablets or chewable tablets do you need to take, and when should you take them?

    For Caltrate 600+D3 and Caltrate 600+D3 Plus Minerals, take one tablet or chewable tablet up to two times daily with food or as directed by your physician.

  • How many Caltrate® Soft Chews do you need to take, and when should you take them?

    For Caltrate 600+D3 Soft Chews, take one soft chew up to two times daily with or without food or as directed by your physician.

  • How many Caltrate® Gummy Bites do you need to take, and when should you take them?

    For Caltrate Gummy Bites, take two gummy bites up to two times daily with or without food or as directed by your physician.

  • How do you break the tablets in half?

    Although the tablets were designed to be swallowed whole, if you need to break the tablet in half follow these steps: Place the tablet score side up on a countertop. While holding one side of the tablet down with your index finger, press down on the other side with your thumb. The tablet should snap evenly at the score.

  • Can the product be crushed and sprinkled over food?

    These tablets are designed to be swallowed whole; however, if needed, you can crush any of the Caltrate® tablets and mix them into applesauce or any of your favorite soft foods. If you have difficulty swallowing Caltrate® tablets, you may also want to try our Caltrate® Plus Minerals chewable tablets, Caltrate® Soft Chews, or Caltrate® Gummy Bites.

  • Can this product be taken with a multivitamin?

    Yes, one serving of any Caltrate® product can be taken with any multivitamin containing more than 400 mg of calcium. One up to two servings of Caltrate® products can be taken with any multivitamin containing less than 400 mg of calcium.

  • Do Caltrate® products contain sugar?

    Some Caltrate® forms do contain a small amount of sugar in the following amounts per serving:

    • Plus Mineral Chewable Tablets – 2 grams
    • Chocolate Soft Chews – 1 gram
    • Vanilla Soft Chews – 2 grams
    • Gummy Bites – 7 grams
  • Why was the level of Vitamin D in the Caltrate® tablets and soft chews changed to 800 IU?

    Vitamin D helps to maximize calcium absorption; therefore the level of vitamin D in each Caltrate® tablet and soft chew was doubled to help ensure users are absorbing more calcium.

  • Why can’t you find the Caltrate® 600 product at your local retailer?

    Caltrate® 600 calcium only supplement is no longer being sold at most retailers as this product has been discontinued for business reasons. However, there are several other Caltrate products that include Vitamin D3 that can be selected in place of this product to help you meet your calcium needs.

  • Why was the Suggested Use changed from (1) tablet twice daily to (1) tablet up to two times daily?

    Recent survey data indicates that most Americans get calcium in their diet and only need 600mg of calcium to supplement their diet in order to get the 1200 mg of calcium recommend by the Institute of Medicine.

Caltrate® Comparison Chart Close Window
Caltrate® 600+D<sub>3</sub>

Calcium with the most vitamin D3  to help maximize calcium absorption.*

600+D<sub>3</sub> Soft Chews

Tasty and convenient way to nourish your bones.*

Easy and delicious way to help get the calcium and vitamin D3 healthy bones need.*

Caltrate® 600+D<sub>3</sub> Plus Minerals

Caltrate has calcium plus collagen-supporting minerals to help your bones stay strong and flexible.*

600+D<sub>3</sub> Plus Minerals Chewables

Calcium with vitamin D3 plus magnesium and other essential minerals in an on-the-go, delicious chewable tablet.

Calcium in its most concentrated form

Nutrients essential for healthy bones*

Vitamin D3 to help maximize calcium absorption*

Magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese to help stimulate collagen production*
Flavored chewable

*These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.