Calcium & Vitamin D
Calcium is a mineral. It is important for healthy bones. Vitamin D is important because it helps the body absorb and use calcium.
Taking Calcium & Vitamin D
Calcium supplements are taken with each meal (2-3 times per day). Vitamin D is taken only once a day.
Doctors will advise patients on how much calcium and vitamin D to take.
The list below is a general guide to help determine the right dose of calcium:
- Age 4-8: 400 mg twice per day (800 mg)
- Age 9-50: 500 mg twice per day (1000 mg)
- Age >50: 400 mg three times per day (1200 mg)
The amount of vitamin D a patient needs depends on their age. The list below is a general guide to help determine the right dose of vitamin D:
- Age 19-50: 400 IU per day
- Age >50: 800-1000 IU per day
Natural Sources of Calcium
Calcium is available in dairy products. As a general rule a glass of milk (1 cup), a small container of yogurt, or a piece of cheese the size of a thumb will provide about 300 mg of calcium.
Natural Sources of Vitamin D
The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is made in the skin when it is exposed to the sun. Milk is also often fortified with vitamin D.
Important Tests and Risks
Patients who have osteoporosis or other conditions where bone density is a concern should ask their doctor about Bone Mineral Density (BMD) testing.