Calcium is one of the most essential nutrients required by the body for strong and healthy bones. Moreover, your body needs calcium for the proper functioning of heart, nerves, and muscles. Deficiency of calcium in the body can weaken your bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Your body also needs vitamin D to absorb calcium from the food. Vitamin D might also help to prevent the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
How much calcium and vitamin D do you need?
According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended amount of calcium for men and women up to age of 50 years is 1,000mg per day. However, the recommended amount of vitamin D for men and women up to age of 70 years is 600 IU. To find out how much amount of calcium and vitamin D you need in your body, see the chart below:
How can you intake calcium and vitamin D?
The best source of calcium and vitamin D is a healthy diet. Eat a healthy diet to get sufficient amount of nutrients in your body. Dairy products are good sources of calcium and you can get enough amount of vitamin D from sunlight. You can add more calcium and vitamin D in your diet without adding much fat and by eating these foods.
If in case you’re not getting sufficient amount of calcium and vitamin D from your diet, consult your health care provider about the right type of supplement for you.
Do you need supplements?
Eating a fresh, whole, and unprocessed food diet doesn’t mean that you’re getting an abundant supply of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients in your body. It’s impossible to get sufficient amount of nutrients from the food, even if you’ve a perfect diet due to various factors – including depleted soils, the storage and transportation of food, the increased stress, lifestyle, etc. Lack of sunlight, chronic stress, and environmental toxins leads to higher nutrition needs.
If you’re not getting an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D from your diet, you may need to add calcium and vitamin D supplements. However, make sure to consult your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
How to choose a calcium or vitamin D supplement?
Most of the calcium supplements contain calcium citrate (e.g. Citracal) or calcium carbonate (e.g. Tums, Caltrate.)
Supplements containing calcium carbonate are less expensive and offer more calcium per dose.
Supplements containing calcium citrate are great for patients who don’t absorb calcium properly. Older people or heartburn patients can take calcium citrate supplements.
Make sure to read the drug label properly to know the amount of calcium that one dose offers you. Choose a supplement that offers less than 500 mg of calcium in one dose as calcium is absorbed properly if taken in an amount less than 500 mg in one serve.
Vitamin D supplements –
Vitamin D is available over-the-counter in some calcium products or by itself. A high-dose of vitamin D supplements are prescribed if you’ve low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is available as vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. Either of them can be used to fulfill vitamin D requirement in the body. Make sure to buy vitamin D supplements that are USP Verified.