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Osteoporosis and Calcium (cont.)

How Much Calcium Is Needed?

Since the body's calcium needs change with age, calcium intake should be adjusted as necessary. Depending on age, an appropriate calcium intake is generally between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams (mg) a day.

The amount of calcium needed daily depends on a person's age and gender.

After extensive consideration, the United States Institute of Medicine decided on the following recommendations for calcium intake. These recommendations were issued in a report in November 2010. These recommendations indicate the total amount of calcium from food and supplements combined.

Calcium Recommended Daily Allowances
Age Range (Years) Calcium (mg/Day)
9-18 1,300
19-50
51-70 (Men)
1,000
51-70 (Women) 1,200
Over 70 1,200

The intestines can only absorb about 500-600 mg of calcium at a time, and so total calcium intake should be divided over the course of a day. Taking too much calcium can lead to kidney stone formation. Excess calcium intake may be associated with other health risks, including heart attacks and strokes, but the scientific studies are not conclusive. Therefore, when it comes to calcium intake, it is important to get enough calcium, however, more is not better.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2016

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