Calcium and bones

Definition

Alternative Names

Bone strength and calcium

Information

Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are important for making healthy bones. Your body uses these minerals to make your bones as you grow.

If you do not get enough calcium in your diet, or if your body does not absorb enough calcium from diet, bone tissues may suffer.

Bone density refers to how much calcium and other types of minerals are present in a section of your bone. It is highest between ages 25 - 35, and decreases after that. This can result in brittle, fragile bones that are more prone to fractures, even without injury.

As you age, your body still needs calcium to keep your bones dense and strong.

DIET

Get at least 1,200 milligrams per day of calcium and 800 - 1,000 international units of vitamin D3. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Your doctor may recommend a supplement to give you the calcium and vitamin D you need.

Follow a diet that provides the proper amount of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Although this will not completely stop bone loss, it will guarantee that a supply of the materials the body uses to form and maintain bones is available.

High-calcium foods include:

  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and collard greens
  • Low-fat milk
  • Salmon
  • Sardines (with the bones)
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt

See also: Calcium in diet

References