Calcium is the major nutrient needed to form new bone cells and is vital for bone health. Your bones and teeth store 99% of the calcium in your body. Just as your bones change throughout your lifetime, so do your calcium needs. According to the Institute of Medicine, your requirements are:
- Children ages 4 to 8 need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day (2-3 servings of dairy per day)
- Children ages 9 to 18 need at least 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day (4 servings of dairy per day)
- Adults ages 19 to 50 need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day (3 servings of dairy per day)
- Women over age 50 and men over age 70 need at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day (3-4 servings of dairy per day)
While calcium is critical it cannot build bones alone. It works with other nutrients (vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium) to increase bone strength.
Where should you get these important bone building nutrients from?
Supplements can’t duplicate what foods offer naturally. Milk, cheese and yogurt are excellent sources of the essential nutrients your bones and body needs — including calcium!