Pros: Tastes like a treat; 100% of calcium in 2 chews; no nausea!
Cons: A little expensive, but you can usually find coupons or sales
I have a couple of risk factors for osteoporosis (I'm a thin caucasian woman with a family history of osteoporosis), so getting enough calcium is especially important to me. I also have trouble digesting milk and dairy products, so I don't always get as much calcium as I should through my diet. Over the years, I have taken various multivitamins and calcium pill supplements, but I always end up laxing in taking them because they often make me feel sick (even if I take them with food).
Finally my mother suggested I try Viactiv Calcium chews. I chose the Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews Plus Vitamin D and K in the milk chocolate flavor. Calcium is best absorbed by the body in the presence of vitamin D, so that's why it's beneficial to choose a calcium supplement that has vitamin D in it. The regular retail price for a 90 count box of Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews Plus Vitamin D and K at my local grocery store is $13.99 (but I usually stock up during sales or when I find a coupon).
Each little chew (about the size of a Starburst candy) comes individually wrapped in silver paper. They have 20 calories each (5 calories from fat), 0.5 grams (g) of saturated fat, 3 g of sugar and 15 milligrams (mg) of sodium. They're also packed with 50% of the recommended daily amount of calcium (500 mg), vitamin D (200 IU) and vitamin K (40 mcg).
The chews are soft and a little sticky, almost like taffy. The milk chocolate taste is very good - not chalky or fake in any way. In fact, I feel like I'm having a little chocolate treat when I eat one of these. The directions say to take one chew up to 3 times daily, preferably with meals, or as recommended by your doctor. I take 2 chews a day to get 100% of my daily value for calcium and vitamins D and K. I have 1 with my mid-morning snack and 1 after lunch. (It's best to space them out so your body has time to absorb the nutrients. The body can only process about 500 mg of calcium at a time.)
In addition to the fact that I feel like I'm having a little treat when I eat these, I keep using them because they have never made me feel sick. And while most other calcium supplements are calorie-free, I'm willing to take in an extra 40 calories a day to get 100% of my calcium needs and stay nausea-free.
Note that these chews contain vitamin K, so you should ask your doctor before using these if you take a blood-thining medicine (anticoagulant). Also, you can get too much vitamin D, so be careful about combining these chews with other multivitamins. (As always - ask your doctor what's safe.)