How Much Calcium Do You Really Need?
Calcium is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Not only does it help build strong bones and teeth, but it’s also vital for proper muscle and nerve functioning. It even helps blood clot!
What’s the right amount?
Your daily calcium needs vary depending on life stage:
- Infants from birth to 1 year: 400-600 mg
- Children aged 1-10: 800 mg
- Preteens and teenagers: 1,200 – 1,500 mg
- Adults: 1,200 mg
- Pregnant women: 1,500 – 2,000 mg
- Lactating women: 1,200 – 1,500 mg
- Seniors: 1,500 mg
What to find it?
Dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt are the best food sources of calcium. However, there are also many non-dairy foods high in calcium. Those include sardines, dark leafy greens (kale, turnips, and collard greens), soybeans, and tofu. You can also look for foods fortified with calcium like orange juice, cereal, and soymilk among others.
How to best absorb it:
Vitamin D is key because it helps the body adsorb calcium. In fact, the body cannot absorb any calcium without having some vitamin D present. The top sources of vitamin D are sunlight, and certain food items like eggs, butter, fatty fish, and most foods fortified with calcium.
Will having Calcium Supplements now make my teeth stronger or healthier?
Well, not really if you are an adult. The outer layer of the teeth is made up of enamel in which Calcium is an important constituent. However, the calcium absorbed into our blood from the food we take or the additional supplements we are prescribed does not really find its way into these outer layers of the teeth once we have grown into adults.
So is there no way to improve the Calcium content in our teeth or strengthen them?
Some topical preparations like those derived from Casein Phosphate have shown some beneficial results in this regard. Consult your dentist to get more updates on the best possible alternative in your case.