Review: Trader Joe's Calcium Chews - Celiac Disease
Jun 11 2010

Review: Trader Joe's Calcium Chews

In light of my recent foot injury, my doctor has asked me to make sure that I am getting enough calcium. I have a sensitive stomach, in addition to Celiac, so it is tough for me to add pills to the mix. I love that I can always count on Trader Joe’s for a good, solid product, so when I saw their Calcium Chews, I picked up a box.

Per Trader Joe’s website:

Trader Joe’s supplements and protein powders are gluten -free with the following exceptions:
Very Green Drink Powder*
Very Green Capsules*
Chocolate Whey Quick Dissolve Protein
Vanilla Whey Quick Dissolve Protein
*NOT Gluten Free

I am happy to report that I have had no issues whatsoever stomach-wise with these calcium chews. There are 75 chews for $6.99 and the box says to take 1 chew up to two times daily. The chews do contain dairy and soy lecithin. Each chew has:

Calories – 20
Fat – 1g
Carbs – 3g
Sugar – 2g
Vitamin D (as ergocalciferol) – 200 IU
Vitamin K (as plylloquinone) – 40 mcg
Calcium (as calcium carbonate) – 500 mg, which is 50% of the RDA
Sodium – 5 mg

The ingredients are:

Glucose syrup (corn), sucrose, sweetened condensed whole milk (whole milk, sugar), palm kernel oil, whey, chocolate, mono-and di-glycerides, and soy lecithin.

While these may be more expensive than calcium pills, the cost is worth it to me, because my stomach has disagreed with too many of the pills. I have wasted a lot of money on vitamins that I end up having to give away to family or toss. Trader Joe’s has a store policy that they will take back any product if you are not 100% satisfied with it. I don’t hesitate to try new things from Trader Joe’s for that very reason.

Not only is calcium (and many other vitamins) important for those with Celiac Disease, but it is particularly essential for women. Osteoporosis, the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density, is not to be taken lightly. If not prevented or detected, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone is broken. Regular daily recommended doses of calcium and vitamin D are the primary weapons in the arsenal against this deterioration. While women are four times more likely than men to suffer from osteoporosis, men can also be afflicted. Here is a risk factor questionnaire from the National Osteoporosis Foundation that can help you determine if you are at a higher risk. The questionnaire does not mention Celiac Disease as a risk factor, but it should, in my opinion. When Celiac Disease goes untreated, vitamins and nutrients are often not being absorbed properly. This can lead to low levels of many different vitamins and minerals. Low levels of Iron and vitamin D are two elements that seem to go hand-in-hand with Celiac Disease. If you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, it is a good idea to have a bone density scan to make sure that you aren’t in the early stages of Osteoporosis, also called Osteopenia -lower than normal BMD (bone mineral density). Even if the scan turns out to be normal, at least your doctor then has a baseline to refer back to in the future.

Do you take calcium supplements? If so, which ones?

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. Cindy says:

    Definitely have to take calcium supplements, after being diagnosed with osteoporosis in both hips earlier this year. And I’m only in my early 50’s! I went to the local health food store, whose owner is very knowledgeable in addition to being gluten-free, and asked for the best calcium supplement she had. She went straight to one that has microcrystalline hydroxyapatite (sp?) and said she had had many good reports from customers about improvements in their scans after taking it. It wasn’t cheap, but then neither are medical bills! The only thing I don’t like about it is that you have to take six a day just to get 1,000 mg. of calcium, which is a lot of pills…

  2. Carrie says:

    As a woman about to turn 30, I am very concerned about my calcium intake. As a child I loved drinking milk so it wasn’t a worry until I developed an intolerance to it. I do eat ice cream, cheese and every once in awhile, I have some yogurt or a glass of milk. All in moderation, of course. I recently bought a tub of Viactiv (60 chews for about $10). I compared it to the Trader Joe’s calcium chews as listed above and not only do you get more for $3 cheaper, you also get less sodium and sugar in each chew. The only thing you get less of in the TJ brand is Vitamin D. But you can step outside and get 15 minutes of sun to remedy that since that boosts your body’s Vit.D production and basically will give you your daily dose of it. So in conclusion, I will be purchasing TJ’s calcium chews after I run out of my Viactiv. Just thought I’d share. =)

  3. Diane says:

    I am 52, going through menopause and have no idea if I have and bone issues. I have been lactose intolerant for years and don’t consume much in the way of dairy except for a yogurt now and then and a little cream in my coffee. This year I decided to also lose weight so I have all but cut most cheeses out of my diet and I started a regular regime of exercise on January 1 skiing and ice skating. 32 years ago I had 2 knee surgeries from torn cartlidge and I have a hip/lower back pain from an unknown cause which I recently started taking Joint Juice for. I have never been one to take pills or believe in supplements. I am realizing now at my age that my body no longer works for me …. it’s working against me and I need some help, especially if I am going to continue being some type of an athlete. The Joint Juice (glucosomine + chondroiten) really really works …. but that’s for joints. Once I realized my hormones were checking out I decided to look into calcium supplements. I had heard that Tums work, but then I heard that they are a poor way to get calcium. If you have stomach issues getting the calcium is a plus, but you shouldn’t use Tums exclusively for calcium. Then I walked into TJ’s and found the chews. First of all .. I get my chocolate fix daily …. and I am taking 2 per day. I have yet to note any difference, but just knowing I am getting calcium I was missing in my diet makes me feel like I am doing something right. And yes, they are quite digestible. They kind of remind me of tootsie roll flavor.

  4. Penny says:

    I just purchased a box of the Trader Joes calcium chews and love them! I agree that the taste is good. I’m on a rigid fat burner diet and have lost 15 lbs. in the last month. I love my diet but am getting no calcium since I don’t drink milk and eat very little yogurt or cheese. I was worried about getting adequate calcium in my diet and didn’t want to take pills either. My only concern is that the type of calcium in the Trader Joe’s chews is calcium carbonate and I have heard that this type of calcium is not inferior to the other types. I really know nothing about different types of calcium and was hopeing that you could shed som light on this.

    Thanks so much!


  1. Stop the Madness!!! « Gluten-free is Life says:

    […] ABC News site gave me a little reassurance that I should, indeed, continue to take my calcium supplements. The article says the studies of those with or at increased risk for osteoporosis (read: older […]

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