You need different amounts of calcium at different times of your life. The handy chart will give you an idea of what you need now. If you are at high risk for osteoporosis, you may need 1500 milligrams of calcium a day, regardless of the category you fall in.
How Much Is Enough?Calcium needs are listed in milligrams (mg).
|Infants, Children, Young Adults||Per Day|
|Infants (Up to 6 Months)||400 mg|
|Infants (6-12 Months)||600 mg|
|Children (1-10 Years)||800-1,200 mg|
|Adolescents, Teens, Young Adults (11-24 Years)||1,200-1,500 mg|
|Adults (25-50 Years)||1,000 mg|
|Pregnant and Nursing Women||1,200-1,500 mg|
|Postmenopausal Women on HRT*||1,000 mg|
|Postmenopausal Women Not on HRT*||1,500 mg|
|Postmenopausal Women over 65||1,500 mg|
|Adults (25-65 Years)||1,000 mg|
|Adults over 65||1,500 mg|
* Hormone Replacement Therapy
Source: NIH guidelines
These calcium recommendations include calcium from both your diet and supplements. The calcium from supplements is absorbed just as well as the calcium from food. For postmenopausal women, even extra calcium may not be enough to prevent osteoporosis. Usually some type of medication, such as hormone replacement therapy, becomes necessary.