Supplying your body with calcium in abundance is the best way to keep bones healthy. When your body has enough calcium, you are at the minimum risk of bone breakage or osteoporosis.
However, the amount of calcium you consume must depend on the age group you fall in. The daily recommendations for calcium can largely vary by age and gender.
The calcium requirement for your body can vary like this:
• Newborns to 6 months: 200 milligrams
• Babies 7-12 months: 260 milligrams
• Kids 1-3: 700 milligrams
• Kids 4-8: 1,000 milligrams
• Kids and teens 9-18: 1,300 milligrams
• Adults 19-50: 1,000 milligrams
• Adult men 51-70: 1,000 milligrams
• Adult women 51-70: 1,200 milligrams
• All adults 71 and older: 1,200 milligrams
• Pregnant/breastfeeding women: 1,000 milligrams
• Pregnant teens: 1,300 milligrams
Calcium is important for heart, muscles and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. When there is inadequate supply of calcium to the body, it contributes largely to development of osteoporosis. There have been many studies done to support that low calcium levels in the body is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates.
Your daily need of calcium can be met through dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Besides, calcium can also be found naturally in some plants like broccoli, kale and Chinese cabbage. There are some foods like orange juice and breakfast cereals which contain added calcium.
If you experience trouble in getting sufficient calcium in your diet, it is advisable to take a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium supplement you need completely depends on the amount of calcium you obtain from food sources. Except for people who suffer from gastrointestinal disease, calcium compounds like calcium carbonate and calcium citrate must be consumed.
Calcium is better absorbed by the body when taken in small doses like 500 mg or less several times in a day. It can be seen in many cases that calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken with food.
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