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Calcium is very important for building and maintaining strong,
healthy bones. The amount of
calcium needed changes as a person grows older. Most Americans get only
half the calcium they need from their diet.
recommended daily calcium intake for adults ages 19 to 50 is 1,000 mg a day,
increasing to 1,200 mg a day for adults older than 50. Calcium is found in
many foods, including dairy products such as milk or yogurt. Most
postmenopausal women need to take calcium supplements because they do not get
enough calcium in their daily diets.
To increase your body's ability to absorb calcium, take calcium
supplements with milk or with foods that contain vitamin D.
Taking calcium without vitamin D probably is
Avoid eating bran (such as bran cereals) at the same time as foods
that are high in calcium. Bran decreases the amount of calcium absorbed by the
Vestergaard P, et al. (2011). Fracture prevention in
postmenopausal women, search date September 2010. BMJ Clinical Evidence. Available online:
Current as of:
November 6, 2012
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
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