Calcium is a major building block of bone tissue. In fact, 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the skeleton. Along with vitamin D and protein, adequate calcium intake helps older adults maintain bone health as you age.
Calcium recommendations vary based on age and gender. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, women and men over 70 years of age, should get at least 1,200 mg per day.
Based on a recent study from 83 countries and more than 6,900 users, the average calcium intake was 594 mg per day. Men and women had almost equal percentage of insufficiency (89% vs 90% respectively). Only 11% achieved sufficient calcium intake levels.
A healthy, balanced diet combined with regular exercise and smart lifestyle choices, such as not smoking and moderate alcohol intake, helps you set the foundation for strong bones as you age. For those of you at high risk of fracture due to osteoporosis, a bone-health diet also supports fall prevention and enhances the benefits of therapy.
Osteoporosis, a chronic disease which causes bones to become weak and prone to fracture, affects approximately one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50. Osteoporotic fractures are a major cause of pain, disability and loss of independence in seniors.
Calcium needs should be met through food sources primarily. However, supplements can be beneficial if adequate calcium intake cannot be met through a balanced diet, especially where certain medical conditions exist. If you have concerns, it is best to speak to your doctor.