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January 2020

Is Algae a Good Source of Calcium?

You may start getting questions about whether algae-derived calcium is better than other calcium products. In particular, a product called AlgaeCal has been getting a lot of attention. Does this type of calcium work better? Is it safe?

The answers to these questions are largely unknown. Most available research looking at algae as a calcium source used AlgaeCal along with strontium. Although the manufacturer claims it’s guaranteed to increase bone density, there isn’t any clinical evidence supporting this. There also aren’t any details available about absorption or tolerability. And there’s no data comparing it to traditional calcium sources.

The safety of AlgaeCal is also unclear. Some coral calcium products contain excess lead. It’s possible that algae-derived products might have a similar issue, but we still need more information. It’s also expensive – one bottle costs $69. A bottle of Citracal, one of the “pricier” calcium products, will set you back only $11-15.

Not everyone needs to take a calcium supplement – most people can get what they need from food. If your patient does need a supplement, work with them to find the best form to suit their needs. And tell patients to stick to supplements that are USP verified to ensure they meet purity standards. As of now, none of the AlgaeCal products have USP verification.

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