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Updated 19 January 2017

Do I need a calcium supplement?

If you need a calcium boost, a supplement or a change in diet can help.

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Do I need a calcium supplement? 

If you need a calcium boost, a supplement or a change in diet can help.  
As you age you will experience a decrease in bone density, which puts you at risk of developing osteoporosis. It is therefore a good idea to find out if you need to supplement your dietary calcium.  
Supplementing your bones with calcium in your 20s will benefit you later in life. The good news is that if you need a boost to keep your bones strong, a change in diet or a supplement to fill nutritional gaps can help.   
Most South Africans only manage to consume 500–600 mg of calcium per day, which is not enough to sustain healthy bones. If you’re a vegan, lactose intolerant or don’t consume much dairy, you will need to focus on your calcium intake.  

How much is enough? 

The National Osteoporosis Foundation of South Africa suggests the following recommended daily allowance of calcium: 

  

How much is too much?  

Your body is only able to absorb 500–600 mg of calcium at a time. Try to divide your calcium intake throughout the day to ensure you absorb enough. 

Which foods contain calcium?  

There are many foods other than milk that contain calcium. Some might surprise you!  

References:

https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/calciumvitamin-d/ https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/ http://www.health24.com/Medical/Osteoporosis/About-osteoporosis/Why-you-should-be-taking-a-calciumsupplement-in-your-twenties-20141105 http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Winter-Wellness/are-you-getting-enough-calcium-20160725-2

This article is provided through a sponsorship from Pfizer in the interests of continuous medical education. Notwithstanding Pfizer's sponsorship of this publication, neither Pfizer nor its subsidiary or affiliated companies shall be liable for any damages, claims, liabilities, costs or obligations arising from the misuse of the information provided in this publication. 
Readers are advised to consult their health care practitioner for specific information on personal health matters as this is not the intention or purpose of the publication. Specific medical advice or recommendations on the clinical management of patients will not be provided by Pfizer. In this regard Pfizer does not support the use of products for off label indications, nor dosing which falls outside the approved label recommendations and readers must refer to the Package Insert of any product for full prescribing guidelines.   

 
 
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