The Latest News on Calcium and Vitamin D

If you’re concerned about your bone health and take calcium and/or vitamin D supplements, you may have been confused by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recent statement that there’s not enough evidence to warrant supplementation. But be advised: Skipping your calcium and vitamin D supplements may raise your risk of fractures.

Warns the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), don’t stop taking your calcium and vitamin D unless you clear it with your doctor. Whatever your age, whether you’re taking osteoporosis medication or not, if you’re trying to prevent fractures, you need adequate amounts of both these bone-friendly nutrients in your diet, says NOF.

As a reminder, NOF’s daily recommendations are:

Calcium (from all sources)
Women under age 50: 1,000 mg
Women age 50 and older: 1,200 mg
Men age 70 and younger: 1,000 mg
Men age 71 and older: 1,200 mg

Vitamin D
Adults under age 50: 400-800 IU
Adults age 50 and older: 800-1,000 IU

Nutritious food is the absolute best source of calcium. Dairy products, such as low-fat and nonfat milk, yogurt and cheese are high in calcium. Green vegetables and other foods contain calcium in smaller amounts. You also can get additional calcium from supplements.

Want to learn more about how much calcium is in certain foods?
Click here for a list of calcium-rich foods.

Important note:

It’s a good idea to read food labels to see how much calcium you are getting in the foods you eat. But, if you are over 50, please keep in mind that food labels list calcium as a percentage of the recommended “daily value” (DV) for someone who needs only 1,000 mg of calcium per day—adults under the age of 50. As a person over the age of 50, you will need more than 100% of the DV that appears on food labels.

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