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Calcium Fact Sheet

Prepared by Shelly Asplin, MA, RD LMNT, 2010

Top 2 Reasons to Consume Adequate Calcium:

  1. Strong bones and teeth
  2. Avoiding deficiency symptoms
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis

How much calcium per day?

Adequate Intakes (AIs) for Calcium

Age Male Female Pregnant  Lactating
0-6 months  210 mg 210 mg    
7-12 months 270 mg 270 mg    
1-3 years 500 mg 500 mg    
4-8 years 800 mg 800 mg    
9-13 years 1300 mg 1300 mg    
14-18 years  1300 mg 1300 mg 1300 mg 1300 mg
19-50 years  1000 mg 1000 mg 1000 mg 1000 mg
50+ years  1200 mg 1200 mg    

 

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Calcium

Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
0-12 Months None Established None Established    
1-13 Years 2500 mg 2500 mg    
14-50 Years 2500 mg 2500 mg 2500 mg 2500 mg
51+ Years 2500 mg 2500 mg    

 

Food Sources

Food  Calcium (mg) %DV
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces 415 42.00%
Sardines, canned in oil, with bones, 3 ounces 324 32.00%
Cheddar cheese, 1.5 ounces  306 31.00%
Milk, nonfat, 8 ounces  302 30.00%
Mozzarella, part skim, 1.5 ounces 275 28.00%
Orange juice, calcium-fortified, 6 ounces  200-260 20-26%

*DV = Daily Value. DV’s are developed by the FDA to help consumers know how much of a specific nutrient is in a food.

Labs to check calcium status: Bone Density Test

Adapted from the following resources:

  • NIH Office Of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2003. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp

Disclaimer: This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult with a health care provider before making changes to your health care regimen.

Reviewed 2/19/2013