An essential mineral for bones, blood and muscles
Calcium is a mineral which is essential for strong bones and teeth, and is needed for muscles and the nervous system.
Men and women lose calcium from their bones as we grow older, and women lose more calcium than men.
Getting sufficient calcium in your diet throughout life is important to limit calcium loss from the bones which make them porous.
The best sources of calcium include dairy food such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, and soy alternatives that are calcium fortified.
The amount of calcium absorbed from foods may be improved by vitamin D, phosphorus, and exercise ; and inhibited by large amounts of protein, salt, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
Recommended daily intake is:
- Children 1-3years – 500mg,
- 4-8 years – 700mg,
- 9-18 years – 1000-1300mg
- Adults 19-70 years – 1000mg,
- Older than 70 years – 1300mg