Calcium


Actions/Claims:

Calcium is an essential mineral needed for muscle contraction and optimal health of your bones and teeth.

Research Results:

Adequate exercise and calcium intakes over a lifetime are considered to be protective against osteoporosis*. Compared to men, women are at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis. The increased risk is due to smaller bone structure in females and lower estrogen levels resulting from menopause, intensive training, or disordered eating. To prevent osteoporosis, include enough calcium in your diet, and incorporate weight-bearing activity (jogging, dancing, weight training) into your lifestyle.

Cautions:

Calcium supplementation can interfere with iron absorption, especially when calcium is taken with meals.

Recommendations:

According to the National Institutes of Health, obtaining calcium through your diet is the preferred approach to meeting your calcium needs. Many foods, like fruit juices, fruit drinks, breads, rice and cereals, now have added calcium. For some people, calcium supplements may be the answer for obtaining optimal calcium intake. You can best absorb calcium from supplements at individual doses of 500 mg or less when taken between meals.

* Osteoporosis is is a thinning of the bones that makes them more susceptible to fracture.

RDA for Calcium (female)
Age (years) Calcium (mg)
18 1300
19–50 1000
51+ 1200

RDA for Calcium (pregnant/nursing)
Age (years) Calcium (mg)
18 1300
19–50 1000

RDA for Calcium (male)
Age (years) Calcium (mg)
18 1300
19–50 1000
51+ 1200

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