Wondering what nutrients are vital for your health? Calcium is an important minerals for the human body and is beneficial for overall long term health. While consuming enough calcium is usually known to be beneficial for our bone health and preventing osteoporosis, it can also help to ensure proper muscle functions and healthy nerves transmission. As per Health Canada recommendations, the required calcium for a day is approximately 1000mg for adults ages 19-50 years old with a tolerable upper intake level of 2500mg. Excess consumption of calcium can cause health complications such as kidney stones.
2 ways to get calcium:
- Dietary calcium. This type of calcium can be obtained from food such as dairy and fortified dairy-alternative products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc), some tofu products, certain types of seafood, and some dark green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, etc). Majority of people are able to fulfill their calcium requirement solely through food. Meeting calcium needs is known to lower the risk of developing chronic disease such as obesity, diabetes, etc.
- Supplemental calcium. An example of this type of calcium is calcium carbonate/citrate, and it is usually in the form of a tablet. This can be consumed in conjunction with food when you cannot get enough calcium from food alone. It is important to make sure to take reasonable dosages of supplemental calcium, as over consumption of calcium can lead to health complications. Supplemental calcium is also not suitable for everyone, for instance those with certain health conditions such as hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the blood) should avoid taking supplemental calcium.
Whether you are getting calcium from food or supplements, meeting your daily calcium requirements is key for maintaining bone health and decreasing the risk of chronic disease.
Reviewed by Annie Tsang, RD
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- Health Canada. (2020, July 28). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/vitamins-minerals/vitamin-calcium-updated-dietary-reference-intakes-nutrition.html
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