Calcium Facts

What is Calcium?

Calcium is a mineral that gives strength to bones and teeth. It is important for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve function. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body.

Calcium requirements

The Dietary Reference Intake for calcium is 1000 mg /day for adult males and females and 1200 mg /day for adults over age 50. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for healthy adults is 2,500 mg/day.

What happens when Calcium intake is too high?

An excess of calcium from diet and supplements is very rare in healthy people. When it does occur, usually in advanced states of cancers, it produces elevated levels of calcium in the blood, kidney damage, and decreased absorption of other minerals, including iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

What happens when Calcium intake is too low?

When calcium intake is low, calcium is pulled from the bones to keep blood levels normal. A deficient calcium intake over time contributes to osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by porous, fragile bones that is a serious public health problem.

Which foods are high in Calcium?

Dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese, are excellent sources of calcium, as are some fortified ready-to-eat cereals. Good sources are sunflower seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables, tofu processed with calcium, and fish eaten with bones, like sardines and salmon.

List of foods high in Calcium

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