Calcium and Vitamin D
The Role of Calcium
Calcium is important to postmenopausal Women because, although it cannot prevent osteoporosis on its own, adequate daily intake may help to slow down bone loss. Calcium is a mineral that not only promotes good bone health, but has other benefits that impact your overall well-being.
Recommended Daily Calcium Intake (mg/day)
|0 – 6 months||200||200|
|7 – 12 months||260||260|
|1 – 3||700||700|
|4 – 8||1000||1000|
|9 – 13||1300||1300|
|14 – 18||1300||1300||1300||1300|
|19 – 50||1000||1000||1000||1000|
|51 – 70||1000||1200|
The amount of calcium needed for good bone health is influenced by diet, hormones, medications, ago, and genetic factors. Furthermore, your recommended daily intake of calcium changes over your lifetime. Therefore, it is important for you to discuss your unique calcium needs with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Sources of Calcium
Most dietary calcium comes from dairy products, but other foods are excellent sources as well. Below is a table of some foods that contain calcium.
|Grated parmesan cheese||1 oz||390|
|Collard greens||1 cup||357|
|Sardines, canned in oil||8 medium||354|
|Rhubarb, cooked, added sugar||1 cup||348|
|Yogurt, low fat, fruit flavored||8 oz||345|
|Gruyere cheese||1 oz||308|
|Milk, skim||1 cup||303|
|Calcium – fortified orange juice||1 cup||300|
|Blackstrap molasses||2 tablespoons||274|
|Figs, dried||10 figs||269|
|Spinach, cooked||1 cup||245|
|Cheddar cheese||1 oz||211|
|Creamed cottage cheese||1 cup||211|
|Broccoli, cooked, drained||1 medium spear||205|
|American cheese processed||1 oz slice||195|
|Salmon, canned||3 oz||167|
It is best of obtain daily requirements form dietary sources, but supplements can be used if you cannot get enough
calcium in your diet. Talk with your healthcare provider about the use of supplements since there are several different types of calcium and many different supplements available. If you take supplements, the calcium is best absorbed if taken with meals and if the dose is split so that you take no more than 500 mg at one time.
The Role of Vitamin D
For calcium to be effective, it needs to be properly absorbed by the body. Adequate levels of vitamin D are needed for the best calcium absorption. Your body manufactures vitamin D in response to sunlight. Chief dietary sources of vitamin D include Vitamin D-fortified milk and cereals, egg yolks, saltwater fish, and liver. However, some people amy need to supplement these natural sources. The amount of vitamin D found in multivitamins is generally enough for proper calcium absorption, but too much vitamin D can be harmful, so be sure to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider before adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet.