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 about 570 international units (IU).
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.
Referenced on 22/05/2021
- Institute of Medicine: “Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and vitamin D."
- Pelajo, C. Autoimmunity Reviews, May 2010.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin D.”
- National Institute on Aging.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation.
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.”