Calcium is important for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Calcium needs are highest during times of rapid growth and after menopause in women.
To meet your calcium requirement, the following Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) are recommended per day:
The best sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Other excellent sources of calcium include calcium-fortified orange juice, cranberry juice or soymilk. Just 2 ounces of cheese or 1 cup of milk, yogurt or calcium-fortified beverage contains 300 milligrams of calcium, about 30 percent of your daily requirement.
If you're not getting enough calcium from your diet, a daily calcium supplement is recommended.
Calcium supplements come in many forms. The most common forms you will see are calcium carbonate, calcium citrate and calcium phosphate. When you are choosing a calcium supplement, use the following guidelines:
Calcium supplements come in chewable, tablet and liquid forms. Consider cost, convenience and availability when selecting a supplement. Generic and store brands are as effective as brand name products and may cost less.
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium, but it is not necessary that it be in the calcium supplement. Ask your dietitian or doctor if a calcium supplement with added vitamin D is right for you.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
Nutrition Counseling Clinic at Mount Zion
1701 Divisadero St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0310
Appointments: (415) 353-4174
Office: (415) 353-2291
Fax: (415) 353-2648