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Back to Calcium

Calcium Requirements

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published new Dietary References Intakes for calcium. These recommendations are based on an analysis of more than 1000 studies and reports and were established to allow the majority of people to achieve and maintain good bone health.

Dietary References Intakes (DRIs) for calcium1

Age group Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) Upper Level Intake (UL)
0 to 6 months * * 1000 mg/day
6 to 12 months * * 1500 mg/day
1 to 3 years 500 mg/day 700 mg/day 2500 mg/day
4 to 8 years 800 mg/day 1000 mg/day 2500 mg/day
9 to 18 years 1100 mg/day 1300 mg/day 3000 mg/day
19 to 50 years 800 mg/day 1000 mg/day 2500 mg/day
51 to 70 years (men) 800 mg/day 1000 mg/day 2000 mg/day
51 to 70 years (women) 1000 mg/day 1200 mg/day 2000 mg/day
71 years or older 1000 mg/day 1200 mg/day 2000 mg/day
Pregnant or lactating adolescents (14 to 18 years) 1100 mg/day 1300 mg/day 3000 mg/day
Pregnant or lactating women (19 to 50 years) 800 mg/day 1000 mg/day 2500 mg/day

* The adequate intake of calcium is 200 mg/day for infants 0 to 6 months and 260 mg/day for those aged 6 to 12 months.

Learn more about calcium

Dietary Reference Intakes for calcium were established to promote calcium balance and good bone health in the majority of the population.1 The upper level intake for adults takes into account the risk of kidney stones, as reported in studies conducted mainly on postmenopausal women taking calcium supplements.1

A lot of research shows that calcium also has other roles besides maintaining good bone health.2-4

References

  1. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2011.
  2. Engberink MF et al. Inverse association between milk product intake and hypertension: the Rotterdam Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1-7.
  3. Heaney RP and Rafferty K. Preponderance of the evidence: an example from the issue of calcium intake and body composition. Nutr Rev 2009;67(1):32-9.
  4. Major GC et al. Recent developments in calcium-related obesity research. Obes Rev 2008;9:428-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789x.2007.0045.x.

Keywords: Calcium , bone health , recommendations , Institute of Medicine


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