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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
|Lifestage Group||DRI (mg/day)|
|1-3 years||500 mg|
|4-8 years||800 mg|
|9-18 years||1,300 mg|
|19 - 50 years||1,000 mg|
|51+ years||1,200 mg|
Pregnant or breastfeeding women less than 18 years of age 1,300 mg/day
Pregnant or breastfeeding women 19-50 years of age 1,000 mg/day
**These recommendations are for total intake through diet and/or supplements; not just one or the other.
Each cup of milk provides 300 mg of calcium. So 1,000 mg. equals approximately 3 and 1/3 cups [about 27 ounces] of milk per day. The National Dairy Council?s "3-Every-Day? of Dairy" program helps to increase our awareness of this goal.
According to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Dietetic Association "the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for calcium is 2,500 mg/day. This is the maximum intake that is unlikely to pose risks of adverse health effects in almost all healthy individuals in a specified group. There is no established benefit for individuals to aim for the UL, or levels well above the daily goal. The need for setting ULs grew out of the increase in the practice of fortifying food with nutrients and in the use of dietary supplements by more people and in larger doses." So, avoid the ?more is better? mentality (exceeding the UL will not improve your health and may even cause harm).
Healthy foods that are rich in calcium include:
These foods are rich in calcium are good sources to include them in your diet. If you don't receive enough calcium in your diet, first try to improve your intake of calcium rich foods. If this is not possible, talk to your doctor about using calcium supplementation instead.
When taking calcium supplements, the form of calcium, dosing, and timing must be considered for the best absorption. In additon, adequate vitamin D will also help in the absorption of calcium.
Many people get enough vitamin D just from being out in the sun for a short while every day, but you can also get this vitamin from cereal and milk fortified with vitamin D, or supplements. Most multivitamins contain 400 IU of vitamin D. Experts are discussing whether the vitamin D recommended level should be raised. Women and men over 70 should take 600 IU of vitamin D per day.
For more information on calcium supplements, see the Frequently Asked Questions article, "How do I know what kind of calcium supplement to take?"
The development of this topic was funded in part by the Ohio Department of Health.
Last Reviewed: Jul 13, 2010
Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati
Thomas A deHoop, MD
Formerly Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Medical Student Education
No longer associated
Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University