“Before you consider calcium supplements,
be sure you understand how much calcium you need,
the pros and cons of calcium supplements, and…”.1

Definition

What is calcium?

Depending on the Source (DotS) the definition of calcium may vary. The (United States) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) definition is:

“Calcium is a mineral your body needs to build and maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body”.2

Bones

What is the association between bones and calcium?

In Calcium: What Is Calcium and What Does It Do? the ODS explain:

“Almost all calcium in the body is stored in bones and teeth, giving them structure and hardness.

Your body needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between your brain and every part of your body. Calcium also helps blood vessels move blood throughout your body and helps release hormones that affect many functions in your body. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium”.3

In Calcium the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) elaborate on:

“Calcium is a major building-block of bone – the skeleton houses 99% of the body’s calcium stores. The calcium in our bones also acts as a reservoir for maintaining calcium levels in the blood, which is needed for healthy nerves and muscles”.4

Calcium Bank

How do bones act like a calcium bank?

In Calcium & Bone Health: Why Is Calcium Important? Healthy Bones Australia explain:

Calcium“Bones act like a calcium bank. If there is not enough calcium in your diet, the body will take what is needed from your bones for use in other parts of the body. If this happens, your bone density (bone strength) will gradually decline, and you may be at risk of developing osteoporosis”.5

Foods

What foods provide calcium?

In Calcium: What Foods Provide Calcium? the ODS explain:

“Calcium is found in many foods. You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:

  • Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the main food sources of calcium for most people in the United States
  • Canned sardines and salmon with bones contain calcium
  • Certain vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage (bok choi) also contain calcium
  • Calcium is added to some beverages, including many fruit juices and milk substitutes such as soy and almond beverages, as well as some brands of tofu and ready-to-eat cereals. To find out whether these foods have calcium added, check the product labels
  • Most grains (such as breads, pastas, and unfortified cereals) do not have high amounts of calcium. However, because people eat them often, what they contribute adds up”.6

Foods Calcium Content

What is the calcium content of some foods?

Your country’s national Osteoporosis website may have a list of the calcium content of some foods similar to the IOF’s Calcium Content of Common Foods or the (United States) National Osteoporosis Foundation’s Calcium and Vitamin D: A Guide To Calcium-Rich Foods.

Calcium Supplements

Before considering calcium supplements, what may it be important to understand?

In Calcium and Calcium Supplements – Achieving the Right Balance the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Before you consider calcium supplements, be sure you understand how much calcium you need, the pros and cons of calcium supplements, and which type of supplement to choose”.7

Vitamin D

Is there an association between vitamin D and calcium?

The Mayo Clinic explain:

“To absorb calcium, your body also needs vitamin D. A few foods naturally contain small amounts of vitamin D, such as canned salmon with bones and egg yolks. You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods and sun exposure”.8

Health Care Provider

What if I would like to find out how much calcium and/or vitamin D I need daily?

If you would like to find out how much calcium and/or vitamin D you need daily, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Calcium?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Calcium?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Calcium and Calcium Supplements – Achieving the Right Balance. 01 November 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097 Accessed: 29 October 2023
  2. Calcium: What Is Calcium and What Does It Do? Updated: 14 September 2023. Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/ Accessed: 29 October 2023
  3. Calcium: What Is Calcium and What Does It Do? Updated: 14 September 2023. Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/ Accessed: 29 October 2023
  4. Calcium. International Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/patients/prevention/calcium Accessed: 29 October 2023
  5. Calcium & Bone Health: Why Is Calcium Important? Healthy Bones Australia https://healthybonesaustralia.org.au/your-bone-health/calcium/ Accessed: 29 October 2023
  6. Calcium: What Foods Provide Calcium? Updated: 14 September 2023. Office of Dietary Supplements https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/ Accessed: 29 October 2023
  7. Calcium and Calcium Supplements – Achieving the Right Balance. 01 November 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097 Accessed: 29 October 2023
  8. Calcium and Calcium Supplements – Achieving the Right Balance: Calcium and Diet. 01 November 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097 Accessed: 29 October 2023
Topic Last Updated: 29 October 2023 – Topic Last Reviewed: 29 October 2023

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