Monday, May 10, 2010

Calcium Requirements

Supplementation is always a great option – make sure you find one that is fortified with Vitamin D and if possible with Magnesium and Vitamin K as well.

Vitamin D, necessary to calcium absorption, is added to some calcium supplements. Proper vitamin D status is important because vitamin D is converted to a hormone in the body which then induces the synthesis of intestinal proteins responsible for calcium absorption.

Just to be sure you know what you are supplementing, consider the following informative chart:

Recommended Adequate Intake by the IOM (Institute of Medicine) for Calcium

Age                Calcium (mg/day)
0–6 months          210
7–12 months        270
1–3 years             500
4–8 years             800
9–18 years         1,300
19–50 years       1,000
51+ years           1,200

Many good food sources of calcium exist. These include:
  • Seaweeds, such as kelp, wakame, hijiki
  • Almonds
  • Sesame
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Beans
  • Oranges
  • Figs
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Collard greens
  • Okra
  • Rutabaga
  • Broccoli
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Kale
Also consider fortified food items, such as enhanced orange juice and alternative milks.

The calcium content of most foods can be found in the USDA National Nutrient Database.

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