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Women's Health Topics..

You are here : home > Women's Health > Osteoporosis > Preventing Osteoporosis: Daily Calcium Requirements

Preventing Osteoporosis: Daily Calcium Requirements

Preventing Osteoporosis:  Daily Calcium Requirements

Calcium intake can prevent osteoporosis, if started early on life. Calcium demand is high in some cases as in pregnancy ,breastfeeding and childhood. As one ages, body absorbs less calcium so the need for calcium increases. Here is a chart on calcium requirement in different age groups and sources of calcium.

How much calcium do I need daily

Calcium needs change during one's lifetime (see chart below).  The body's demand for calcium is greater during childhood and adolescence when the skeleton is growing rapidly, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  Postmenopausal women and older men also need more calcium.  This is because, as you age, your body becomes less efficient at absorbing calcium and other nutrients.

Age Required calcium per day
Birth - 6 months 400 mg
6 mths - 1 year 600 mg
1 - 10 years 800 - 1200 mg
11-24 years 1200 - 1500 mg
25-50 (women & men) 1000 mg
51-64 (women on ERT* & men) 1000 mg
51+ (women not on ERT) 1500 mg
65 or older 1500 mg

What foods contain calcium?

Green leafy vegetables, fish and their bones, milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium. Depending upon how much calcium you get each day from food, you may need to take a calcium supplement. Listed below are various sources of calcium in food:

Food item Calcium
(milligrams per 100 g)
% of RDI *
(for 25-50 yr old)
Vegetables & Fruits    
Cauliflower 140 mg 14%
Fenugreek ("methi") 470 mg 12%
Spinach ("paalak") 60 mg 6%
Ladies fingers 90 mg 9%
Beetroot 200 mg 20%
Cabbage 80 mg 6%
Figs ("anjeer") 60 mg 3%
Grapes (blue) 30 mg 7%
Dates ("khajoor") 70 mg 5%
Oranges 50 mg 10%
Raisins 100 mg 11%
Apple 10 mg 9%
Banana 10 mg 1%
Papaya 10 mg 1%
Meat, Fish, Eggs    
Chicken (meat) 30 mg 3%
Mutton (muscle) 150 mg 15%
Pork (muscle) 30 mg 3%
Crab (muscle) 1370 mg 137%
Prawn 320 mg 32%
Mackerel ("bangda") 430 mg 43%
Rohu 650 mg 65%
Egg. Hen's 60 mg 6%

Cereals & Pulses

Bajra 50 mg 5%
Ragi 330 mg 33%
Wheat flour, whole 50 mg 5%
Wheat flour, refined 20 mg 2%
Rice (raw or parboiled) 10 mg 1%
Rice (flakes or puffed) 20 mg 2%
Soyabean 240 mg 24%
Dal 160 mg 16%
Black gram dal ("udad dal") 200 mg 20%

Almonds 230 kg 23%
Groundnuts 50 mg 5%
Pistachio ("pista") 140 mg 14%
Dairy products    
Milk, cow's 120 mg 12%
Milk, buffalo's 210 mg 21%
Curds, from cow's milk 120 mg 12%
Cheese 790 mg 79%
Milk powder, skimmed 1370 mg 137%
Milk powder, whole 910 mg 91%

* % RDI = Percentage of Recommended Dietary Intake
Source: Advanced Textbook on Food & Nutrition - Vol II, by Dr. M. Swaminathan

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Aarti.10 years ago
i had never heard of osteroporosis before? i think every women should drink enough milk to build the calcium content in her body to fight against such harmful diseases.
genesis.10 years ago
alot of people are not into drinking milk as often as we should i'm actually one of them, but we need to realize that we need milk to get the calcium we need to avoid this disease.
satya.10 years ago
thats informative!
durga.10 years ago
i had know idea of osteoporosis before reading this article. whatever it takes, i'll better try to intake sufficiant calcium.
Rena  Totaye
Rena Totaye.10 years ago
im one of those who do not drink milk, but now that i have to complete my reachesh on osteoporosis, i promise i will drink milk every day.
kavita.10 years ago
dear madam, it is good advice i donot take milk cxhees or yougurt i am 55 yr it hasbeen 3 yrs i have pain in my knees climbing and getting down the stairs how should i prevent ?i have start taking calcium i have put on weight .
dr n.m.rege
dr n.m.rege.10 years ago
there should be a qualitative balance between diet,activities and isotonic exerises depending on the age and the exogenous as well as endogenous factors involved.a generalised comment of importance is that milkin excess should be avoided as besides calcium it contains other unhealthy disease inducing factors
opa Ray
opa Ray.10 years ago
in 2003 i developed poly myalgia, a disorder of the muscles and given a high dosis of prednisone. 30 mg per day. reduced this ti 5mg per day after 2 years. this medication has taken the calcium out of my bones and have now a new problem: osteoporosis. i do take now a heavy daily dosis of calcium tablets with 5mg of prednisone every 3 days for the poly myalgia. trying to do away with the prednisone all together.
M.D.10 years ago
if we take calcium tablets can we avoid osteoporisis
heidi.10 years ago
i don't have osteoperoses but a friend of mine has it and she has hardwear in her leg to keep it together
bi bi
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