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Calcium & Vitamin D - Healthier Together

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Adequate calcium and vitamin D are critical to optimize your skeletal / bone health. Calcium plays an important role in sustaining the bone, while vitamin D is needed for the body to absorb the calcium. Hence, both are needed together in the body for optimal health benefits.
Age Daily Calcium needs (mg) Vitamin D daily needs in IU (international units)
19-50 1000mg 400IU
Over 51 1200mg 400-800 IU
(*400 IU is recommended for individuals ages 51 to 70,and 600 IU for those over 70.Some experts believe that for those over 70, increasing vitamin D supplementation up to 800 IU per day can further increase calcium absorption.
About Calcium:
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth. It helps the heart, nerves, muscles and other body systems work properly. It is probably best known for its affects in prevention of osteoporosis. As we age, the skeleton loses calcium from the bones in the five years around the age of menopause. However; both men and women lose bone mass as they grow older and need to ensure an adequate amount of calcium in their diet to offset these losses.
Daily requirements:
The requirement for calcium is 1300mg/day for women over the age of 50 and for men over the age of 70.
Caution: Adults should have no more than 2,500 mg of calcium and 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day through food and supplements.
Note: Calcium is absorbed best by the body when it is taken in amounts of 500 mg or less at different times of the day.
Good sources of Calcium
Milk and milk products
Leafy green vegetables
Soy and tofu
Ragi, Bajra
Shell fish
About Vitamin D:
Vitamin D, is required for bone growth, teeth formation and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. According to Prof. Edward Giovannucci of Harvard School of Public Health Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology, "Vitamin D's best-known role is in building strong bones. We've seen plenty of advertising urging people to take calcium to strengthen bones, but people also need to know that calcium can't do the job well if they're low on vitamin D. The two micronutrients work synergistically, and a deficiency in either can lead to osteoporosis and associated bone fractures."

Without enough vitamin D, one can't form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the "active vitamin D"). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet.

In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone. Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of dietary calcium from the intestine and its deposition in bones.
Sources of Vitamin D
You can get vitamin D in three ways: through the skin, from your diet, and from supplements. The most inexpensive way of getting vitamin D is by exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D is formed naturally by the body after exposure to sunlight. Fifteen minutes in the sun a few times a week without sunscreen is plenty for many people to manufacture and store all of the vitamin D they need. Experts recommend a daily intake of between 400 and 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D, which also can be obtained from supplements or vitamin D-rich foods such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk.
Food Serving Size Vitamin D (IU)
Dairy Milk,skim,low-fat 1 cup 100 IU
Fish Salmon,canned with bones 3 oz. 425 IU
Sardines,Atlantic,canned with bones 3 oz. 255 IU
Fortified rice beverage 1 cup 100 IU
Fortified soy beverage 1 cup 100 IU
Fortified cereal 1/2–1 cup 40 IU
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