Calcium and Vitamin D

Waukesha gynecologist providing information on recommended intake of Calcium Calcium and vitamin D are very important for bone health. Together, they keep bones and teeth healthy and strong. They also work to prevent bones from breaking. Osteoporosis refers to a bone disorder characterized by progressive loss in bone density. Calcium and vitamin D are easy ways to help prevent osteoporosis. Below you will find the recommended calcium intake based on your age as well as the calcium content in certain foods.

Recommended Calcium Intake

Life-stage group

mg/day


14 to 18 years old

1,300

19 to 30 years old

1,000

31 to 50 years old

1,000

51- to 70-year-old females

1,200

>70 years old

1,200

14 to 18 years old, pregnant/lactating

1,300

19 to 50 years old, pregnant/lactating

1,000

Source: Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 2010.

Selected Calcium-Rich Foods

Food

Calcium (mg)


Fortified oatmeal, 1 packet

350

Sardines, canned in oil, with edible bones, 3 oz.

324

Cheddar cheese, 1½ oz. shredded

306

Milk, nonfat, 1 cup

302

Milkshake, 1 cup

300

Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 1 cup

300

Soybeans, cooked, 1 cup

261

Tofu, firm, with calcium, ½ cup

204

Orange juice, fortified with calcium, 6 oz.

200–260 (varies)

Salmon, canned, with edible bones, 3 oz.

181

Pudding, instant (chocolate, banana, etc.) made with 2% milk, ½ cup

153

Baked beans, 1 cup

142

Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat, 1 cup

138

Spaghetti, lasagna, 1 cup

125

Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft-serve, ½ cup

103

Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with calcium, 1 cup

100–1,000 (varies)

Cheese pizza, 1 slice

100

Fortified waffles, 2

100

Turnip greens, boiled, ½ cup

99

Broccoli, raw, 1 cup

90

Ice cream, vanilla, ½ cup

85

Soy or rice milk, fortified with calcium, 1 cup

80–500 (varies)

Source: The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004, pages 12–13.

Vitamin D

Waukesha gynecologist providing information on recommended daily intake of Vitamin DThe body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. If vitamin D is not present at adequate levels, the body must take calcium from its stores in bones, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.

You can get vitamin D in three ways: through the skin (from the sun), from your diet, and from supplements. We recommend women to take 1,000IU of vitamin D daily via supplements or vitamin D-rich foods such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk. We suggest cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), when available, rather than ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) for vitamin D supplementation. The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 4,000 IU per day for adults. However, sometimes we prescribe higher doses for people who are deficient in vitamin D.

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center

Contact Waukesha gynecologists Dr. Laura Epperson, Dr. Dana Akiya and Dr. Elizabeth Thompson CALL 262-549-2229 for information on Calcium and Vitamin D intake recommendations for keeping bones healthy