Bone is a living tissue, that is constantly renewing and repairing itself from everyday wear and tear. Calcium is essential to helping the remodeling process stay balanced. However, like many nutrients, calcium is absorbed less effectively as we age. Studies of older adults show that adequate calcium intake can slow bone loss and reduce the risk of fracture.
Adults between 19-50 years of age, including pregnant or breast feeding women, require 1,000 mg of calcium daily, and those over 50 require 1,200 mg calcium daily.
To reach these amounts, Canada’s Food Guide recommends 3 servings per day of milk and alternatives for those over 50, and 2 servings per day for adults under 50. If you are sensitive to dairy or prefer to avoid it, there are other alternative sources of calcium to choose from. See our list of Calcium Rich Foods for some inspiration. Calcium rich food
If it is not possible for you to get enough calcium through diet alone, a supplement may be helpful. It’s important to speak to your doctor about calcium supplements, as they can have some side effects. If you are not sure how much calcium you currently get in your diet, use our “Calculate Your Calcium Tool” to figure out how much calcium you consume in a day. Try the Calcium Calculator; It’s important to know that extra calcium from foods is not harmful, however extra calcium from supplements may be. If you are already getting enough calcium in your diet, there is no need to take a supplement.