Your body needs calcium and vitamin D. Are you getting enough? Many people don't.
The best way to get more calcium is from your diet. You probably already know that dairy products -- such as milk, cheese, and yogurt -- provide calcium. Other foods that are high in calcium include:
- White beans
- Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
- Foods that are calcium-fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal
Foods that provide vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
- Beef Liver
- Egg yolks
To get vitamin D from food, fish is a good option. Three ounces of cooked salmon has more than 450 international units (IU).
Calcium & Vitamin D supplements also help.
BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain in adults.
BENEFITS OF CALCIUM
Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly.
Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health: perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.
HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?
Here's how much calcium and vitamin D you need every day, according to the Institute of Medicine.
- Children 1-3 years old: 700 milligrams (mg)
- Children 4-8 years old: 1,000 mg
- Children 9-18 years old: 1,300 mg
- Adults 19-50: 1,000 mg
- Women 51 to 70: 1,200 mg
- Men 51 to 70: 1,000 mg
- Women and men 71 and over: 1,200 mg
- Age 1-70: 600 IU
- Age 71 and older: 800 IU
Your doctor may recommend higher levels of calcium and vitamin D, especially if you aren't getting enough of them or are at risk for osteoporosis. A condition in which bones become weak and brittle.
Risk factors for osteoporosis include aging, low body weight, low sex hormones or menopause and smoking. Prevention and treatment include calcium and vitamin D, exercise, and osteoporosis medications.