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How much calcium does a woman need

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How much calcium per day is recommended? Like many women, you may have memorized the minimum daily calcium requirement—1, milligrams mg a day for women ages 50 and younger and 1, mg for women over 50—and followed it faithfully in an effort to preserve your bones. You'll probably be surprised to learn that many health authorities don't agree with that recommendation. Chan School of Public Health, thinks you're likely to do just as well on half as much calcium. The World Health Organization's recommendation of mg is probably about right. The United Kingdom sets the goal at mg, which is fine, too.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Calcium, How Much Do Women Need To Protect Their Bones?

How much calcium do you really need?

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The foods we eat contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that help keep our bodies healthy. Two nutrients in particular, calcium and vitamin D, are needed for strong bones. Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates.

National nutrition surveys have shown that most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones. To find out how much calcium you need, see the "Recommended calcium intakes" chart below. To learn how easily you can include more calcium in your diet without adding much fat, see the "Selected calcium-rich foods" list below. Although a balanced diet aids calcium absorption, high levels of protein and sodium salt in the diet are thought to increase calcium excretion through the kidneys.

Excessive amounts of these substances should be avoided, especially in those with low calcium intake. Lactose intolerance also can lead to inadequate calcium intake. Those who are lactose intolerant have insufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down the lactose found in dairy products. To include dairy products in the diet, dairy foods can be taken in small quantities or treated with lactase drops, or lactase can be taken as a pill.

Some milk products on the market already have been treated with lactase. If you have trouble getting enough calcium in your diet, you may need to take a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium you will need from a supplement depends on how much calcium you obtain from food sources. There are several different calcium compounds from which to choose, such as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, among others. Except in people with gastrointestinal disease, all major forms of calcium supplements are absorbed equally well when taken with food.

Calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken in small doses mg or less several times throughout the day. In many individuals, calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken with food. The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet.

In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.

You can get vitamin D in three ways: through the skin from sunlight, from the diet, and from supplements. Men and women over age 70 should increase their uptake to IU daily, which also can be obtained from supplements or vitamin D-rich foods such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk. The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 4, IU per day for adults.

However, sometimes doctors prescribe higher doses for people who are deficient in vitamin D. Remember, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program.

Like exercise, getting enough calcium is a strategy that helps strengthen bones at any age. But these strategies may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by lifestyle, medications, or menopause.

Your doctor can determine the need for an osteoporosis medication in addition to diet and exercise. This publication contains information about medications used to treat the health condition discussed here. When this publication was developed, we included the most up-to-date accurate information available. Occasionally, new information on medication is released. Would you like to order publications on bone disorders to be mailed to you?

Visit our online order form. The role of calcium Calcium culprits Calcium supplements Vitamin D A complete osteoporosis program The role of calcium Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Fortified oatmeal, 1 packet Sardines, canned in oil, with edible bones, 3 oz. Calcium supplements If you have trouble getting enough calcium in your diet, you may need to take a calcium supplement.

Vitamin D The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. A complete osteoporosis program Remember, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program.

For your information This publication contains information about medications used to treat the health condition discussed here. For updates and for any questions about any medications you are taking, please contact: U. NIH Pub.

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As new scientific research emerges, recommendations change. We are now rethinking how much calcium and vitamin D is needed for good bone health.

The foods we eat contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that help keep our bodies healthy. Two nutrients in particular, calcium and vitamin D, are needed for strong bones. Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis.

Calcium Supplements: Should You Take Them?

Have a question? Calcium is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body. The amount of calcium you need each day depends on your age.

How much calcium is too much?

The information included here will help you learn all about calcium and vitamin D — the two most important nutrients for bone health. Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat. Every day, we lose calcium through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and feces. Our bodies cannot produce its own calcium.

When you were a child, your mom may have encouraged you to drink milk to build strong bones. However you do it, getting enough calcium is a good idea, since women are far more likely than men to develop osteoporosis — a condition of weak and fragile bones that makes you prone to fractures: Of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, 80 percent are women.

Calcium is important for optimal bone health throughout your life. Although diet is the best way to get calcium, calcium supplements may be an option if your diet falls short. Before you consider calcium supplements, be sure you understand how much calcium you need, the pros and cons of calcium supplements, and which type of supplement to choose. Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones.

Calcium and Vitamin D Requirements

However, they may have drawbacks and even health risks, including raising the risk of heart disease 1. This article explains what you need to know about calcium supplements, including who should take them, their health benefits and potential risks. Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones.

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Calcium and Vitamin D

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Dec 26, - Seniors Don't Need Calcium, Vitamin D Supplements a small number of hip fractures far outweighs the otherwise minimum risks associated with routine calcium Men and women older than that should get 1, mg daily.

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