the iCal-D3 tablets: I've just recently been... - Bone Health

Bone Health
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the iCal-D3 tablets


I've just recently been diagnosed with -2.6 osteoporosis in spine and -2.5 osteopenia in hip.

Following lots of research have decided not to take the usual drugs recommended by GP etc. Instead want to go via more natural route including Vitamin D3, calcium and also ordered K2-MK 7 that I had never heard about until reading the posts on this site.

However I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague, for various reasons, and these theiCal-D3 tablets contain Aspartame, Sorbitol and Xylitol to name but three, and as they are to be taken every day, I definitely won't be taking them.

Can anyone recommend an alternative as prefer either no sweetness or just plain sugar added.

15 Replies

I had a chat with my doctor and had to fill in a quick questionnaire whilst at the appointment and it was agreed that I take enough calcium daily and could ditch the Calcichew or equivalent tablets (which I also hated taking) and he prescribes Vit D only tablets for me and has done so for quite a time now. :) I do hear that Vitamin D may come off repeat prescriptions but so far so good for me.

i also take magnesium tablets as well at K2.

in reply to Kaarina

Thanks Kaarina, I must calculate my calcium intake through food and if not enough then will increase it as this is way more preferable than via pills etc. Have also noted magnesium and it's now on my list.

I take an oily vitamin D3 capsule, 1000 IU (25 mcg). The only additional ingredients are gelatin, glycerin, medium chain triglycerides. Vitamin D is available in cod liver oil, if it's still possible to buy it given the state of the fisheries these days. It also includes Vitamin A in the retinol form which is also healthy, but you mustn't overdose on it so could only take the recommended dose of cod liver oil per day, not take more if you felt you needed more D.

in reply to HeronNS

Another great reply HeronNS with information I didn't know about.

The only thing is that I'm vegetarian and most gelatin is sourced from pork or beef so I have to look for an alternative vegetable one when it's gel capsules. Thanks.

in reply to Titian8

I'm a vegetarian too, but I can't deal with these trace ingredients - have enough stress in my life!

in reply to HeronNS

I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if I wasn't a veggie. In fact totally sure of it! But hey that's what I choose.

Hi Titian. Have you tried calculating your Ca intake from your diet alone?

We need between 1000 and 1200 Mg of Ca maximum a day.

I took prescription Calichew D3 and when I calculate my Ca intake from food, was shocked to find that my total intake was way over 2000 mg per day. Even the consultant agreed this was far too much and told me to stop taking the Calichew, get my Ca from my diet and to take a separate D3.

I monitor my Ca intake and only occasionally need to take a small amount of Ca supplement to makeup a shortfall

I eat some dairy, every day, especially St Helens Farm Goat yogurt. A 150g portion contains 360mg of Ca. I also include some milk.

Do you know what your vit D level is? If not get it tested, otherwise you are guessing as to how much D3 you require.

I took 5000 IU of D3 in gel capsules daily, which eventually gave me the optimal level I was aiming for, of about 150 nmol/L. I get my blood level checked about twice a year. I’m presently maintaining this during summer by taking 2000 IU on alternate days.

I found the book ‘Vitamin K2 and the Ca Paradox’ by Kate Rheaume Bleue. You probably have already seen it if you are taking K2.

Apart from the D3 and K2, I also take Mg bisglycinate in 150mg capsules from Holland and Barrett. I roughly aim for a Ca to Mg. Ratio of 2 to 1. So if my Ca intake is say 1200mg, 3 capsules gives me 450mg of Mg and the rest is from diet. I buy a few bottles when they are on offer.

I also take cod liver oil about 3 times a week for the A retinol content. I alternate it with the D3.

Tinned Alaskan Wild Red Salmon is a super food in my opinion, containing, Ca, 220mg, D3: 760IU, Omega 3: 1200mg and protein: 24g per 100g. You must include the bones which easily mash up and all the liquid.

Good luck

in reply to LynneH-19

Hi Lynne-19, wow so much great info, what a vast amount of knowledge and will definitely follow up on the majority. Enjoy yoghurt but never tried the goat variety, for some reason it just never appealed even although I like the cheese.

Have no idea of what my level of vitamin D is. GP doesn't offer this so where would I get this tested? Being a complete novice with all this have no idea what the optimum levels should be. The supplement I was prescribed, but not taking was 1000 for calcium and 800 D3 daily.

I only ordered the K2 because it was mentioned lots on this site so don't know about the book by Kate Bleue - now on my to do list as well.

Appreciate all the recommendations - thanks so much.

in reply to Titian8

Hi Titian

Goat yogurt tastes no different to any other yogurt, having a very mild taste, but it doesn’t contain any additives like sugar or flavourings, that so many contain. The shelf life is usually good. The St Helens Farm brand I bought from Sainsbury’s last sat, carried a use by date of 2nd August. It’s delicious with seasonal fresh fruit, as a custard or cream substitute, as a topping on homemade soup, as just on its own. It’s not cheap at £2.40 for a 450 g tub, giving 3 x a fraction under 150 g portions.

My GP won’t request vit D so I arrange it myself using a postal, finger prick, blood collection kit, from a NHS hospital at Birmingham. For information see their website


I phone 0121 507 4278 to order a kit. They charge £29 or thereabouts. They will ask for your name, home address, card number for payment and your email address for sending you the results with interpretation.

The kit usually arrives within a couple of days, with the instructions / blood spot collection kit and first class prepaid return envelope. It’s all very easy.

You post the spot card back to them and the results are sent back to you within a week.

After receiving your results you can always speak to one of their Biochemists who know a darn sight more about vit D, than the average GP, should you have any questions.

They say on their result sheet that >50 nmol/L is adequate. Results above 220 nmol/L are high. Different folk have different ideas as to what is optimal. I think between 100 and 150 is good, especially as I also take Mg, vit A and K2.

As with all supplements and medication, it’s trial and error as to what suits us best. I try not to introduce more than one new supplement /drug at a time, so if I get undesirable side affects, I know the cause and can stop taking it.

Best wishes

in reply to LynneH-19

Once again thanks so much for all this very useful information.

Think with all the current budget cuts doctors are really cutting back so I will definitely get a Vit D test via the NHS lab you mentioned.

I've also taken note of the supplements you suggest, and intend giving the goat yoghurt a try.

It's worth saying that both the hospital nurse and GP had never heard of the benefits of K2 (but then I hadn't either until reading about it here).

Really appreciate you helpfulness - big thank you.

I take a sublingual drop of vitamin D emulsion from October to March/April:

in reply to Mistydawn

Yet another fresh idea on taking Vit D and one that have never heard of. Seems a nice simple way of getting it via drops without all the nasty additives such as fillers and artificial sweeteners. Will look into this as an alternative. Appreciate you giving the link Mistydawn, many thanks.

You are welcome Titian8. I also like it because it means the Vitamin D goes straight into the bloodstream rather than via the stomach.

Best wishes


Just a suggestion because I don’t think a lot of people know about it... do you have a raised blood calcium level? When I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and was in shock from that the hospital gave me a prescription for bisphosphonates and I said I would research it before I took anything.

It turns out my calcium level was a tiny bit raised and so I looked into hyperparathyroidism ( nothing to do with the thyroid) and found that some people get osteoporosis because of raised parathyroid hormone levels, me included!

Anyway, if your parathyroid is at fault there is no point in taking medication! To cut a very long story short, I

have had the faulty gland removed and, hopefully , my bones should improve over the next three years! They should get to the same as they would with medication but without the side effects!

Obviously I don’t have a guarantee and not everyone is in that position, but I am SO glad I did the research! I am now trying to improve things by diet too, since I don’t really want to take supplements unless I really have to.

I too won’t eat anything with artificial sweeteners!

Good luck with everything .

Fran 😉

in reply to Fran57

Hi Fran,

Have no idea if have raised blood calcium levels, as, once again, have never heard of that, have so much to learn. Am pleased that you have had such a positive outcome and it continues.

I've only known, within the last few weeks, that I now have osteoporosis so it's all a big learning curve about what will suit me best, without drugs if possible.

I definitely think my osteoporosis is due to taking a Proton Pump Inhibitor for about 15 years and only now am I aware of the consequences. Nowadays i question everything and don't take drugs just because a doctor prescribes/recommends it, hence my first question on this site asked about alternatives from those who will know more as living with it daily.

So to you and everyone else really appreciate all your input and help with comments, suggestions and links. I'll be reading all posts avidly in future.

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