Calcium - do you get enough each day? If not, think supplements.

1 cup of milk = 290-300mg

If you do not consume at least three to four servings of dairy products or the calcium equivalent each day because of food preferences, lactose intolerance, a vegetarian diet, or any other reason, you need to take calcium supplements. Those who are most at risk are women in the first five years of menopause, when calcium loss is the greatest and calcium absorption is the lowest. Others at risk are anorexic women and athletes who do not menstruate.

Take no more than 500 milligrams at at time and be sure to get adequate vitamin D either in your calcium supplement or your daily multiple vitamin. Take calcium with dairy foods to enhance absorption.

Do not take a separate calcium supplement at the same time as a multivitamin/mineral supplement because some minerals bind to the calcium and decrease absorption.

You should also not take calcium at the same time as thyroid meds because of calcium's effect on thyroid absorption. Oxalic acid, found in leafy greens, and phytic acid from wheat bran and beans also bind calcium and result in lower absorption.

Minimum Adequate Calcium Intakes:
19-50 years...... 1,000 mg/day
51 and up........ 1,200 mg/day

Caution: Consuming calcium in amounts greater than 2,500 milligrams per day may lead to kidney problems, including kidney stones.

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