Calcium and Vitamin D

The following recommendations can help you determine whether you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. They are given in milligrams (mg) of calcium and International Units (IU) of vitamin D. These figures are from the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health. Note that these recommendations are for “healthy” individuals. The needs of some people may be higher (for example, people who have osteoporosis or at risk of it). Moreover, there is some disagreement over the recommendations. Some doctors think that postmenopausal women should aim for 1,500 mg of calcium a day. And many experts consider the recommendations for vitamin D to be too low. The National Osteoporosis Foundation revised their vitamin D guidelines. They now recommend that adults under age 50 get 400–800 IU of vitamin D daily and adults 50 and older get 800–1,000 IU. Check with your doctor to see whether you should be getting more calcium, more vitamin D, or both.


Daily calcium

Daily vitamin D

0–6 months 200 mg 400 IU
7–12 months 260 mg 400 IU
1–3 years 700 mg 600 IU
4–8 years 1,000 mg 600 IU
9–18 years 1,300 mg 600 IU
19–50 years 1,000 mg 600 IU
51–70 years 1,000 mg(male) 1,200 mg(female) 600 IU
71+ years 1,200 mg 800 IU
Pregnant/Breast-feeding, 14–18 years 3,000 mg 600 IU
Pregnant/Breast-feeding, 19–50 years 2,500 mg 600 IU

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