Calcium for Bone Health

yogurt, strawberries, food

What is it?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is required to help build and maintain strong, healthy bones and teeth. In fact, over 99% of the body’s calcium supply is found in the bones and teeth.  Calcium is also important for proper muscle function, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion.

What foods contain calcium?

Calcium is found in a variety of foods including milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium fortified plant-based beverages such as fortified soy beverage, dark green vegetables such as broccoli and kale, almonds and canned fish with soft bones that are consumed.

Click here for a list of the calcium content of some common foods.

yogurt, strawberries, food

How much do I need?

Health Canada recommends different daily calcium intakes from food and supplements combined based on age and gender.

Age groupRecommended intake per day
(from food and supplements combined)
Safe Upper Limit
Children 1-3 years700 mg2500 mg
Children 4-8 years1000 mg2500 mg
Children 9-18 years1300 mg3000 mg
Adults 19-50 years1000 mg2500 mg
Adults 51-70 years

1000 mg
1200 mg

2000 mg
2000 mg
Adults > 70 years1200 mg2000 mg
Pregnancy & Lactation
14-18 years
19-50 years

1300 mg
1000 mg

3000 mg
2500 mg
Source: Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Washington, DC: The National Academy Press, 2011.

What helps absorb calcium?

Vitamin D helps absorb calcium in your body. To learn more about Vitamin D and bone health click here to read my blog on this topic.

Do I need a supplement?

Talk with your doctor to determine if a calcium supplement is right for you.

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