October 19, 2022

Calcium and Vitamin D Needs

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Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common vitamin or mineral deficiencies in the United States, as it’s believed that around 35% of adults aren’t getting enough vitamin D.

While calcium and vitamin D aren’t the same, they work together. Vitamin D allows your body to absorb calcium, and without enough calcium, your bones can weaken over time—especially for women, who are prone to osteoporosis.

CHC has details on how much vitamin D and calcium you should be getting daily to keep your levels where they need to be.

More Is Needed as You Age

For women age 50 or younger, 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D is recommended daily. While the vitamin D should be bumped up to 800 IU starting at age 71, calcium intake for women should increase to 1,200 mg daily starting at age 51.

For men, these parameters (1,000 mg of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D) are recommended until age 70. Starting at 71, they should be bumped up to 1,200 mg and 800 IU, respectively.

Good Sources of Calcium and Vitamin D

First off, spending between 30 minutes and one hour in the sun daily can help reach the vitamin D requirement. If you’re in an area that doesn’t get sun year-round, consult your doctor over whether you should take a supplement during cold-weather months.

Low-fat and nonfat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are fortified with vitamin D and contain lots of calcium—typically 300 mg per 1 cup. Having three or four servings will get you to the required amount right there.

Other good sources include tofu, fortified cereal, fortified orange juice, soy milk, or rice milk. This can help people who are lactose intolerant still get the calcium and vitamin D they need from food.

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