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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Healthy Eating: Taking Calcium and Vitamin D
Bone thinning occurs as part of the
natural process of aging. If the thinning continues to the point that your
bones become fragile and in danger of breaking, you have osteoporosis. But
osteoporosis is considered a preventable disease.
foods contain high amounts of calcium. It is important that you also get enough
vitamin D along with calcium to help your body absorb the
Calcium is in foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage have calcium. You can get calcium if you eat the soft edible bones in canned sardines and canned salmon. Foods with added (fortified) calcium include some cereals, juices, soy drinks, and tofu. The food label will show how much calcium was added.
Vitamin D is in foods such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These are some of the best foods to eat when trying to get more vitamin D. Other foods with vitamin D, but in small amounts, include cheese, egg yolks, and beef liver. You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods such as milk and some cereals, orange juices, yogurts, margarines, and soy drinks.
For example, a good source of calcium is fat-free milk fortified with vitamin
D. Four cups a day provide about 1,200 mg of calcium. Other good sources of
calcium include shrimp, blackstrap molasses, calcium-fortified tofu, and
Everyone who has been diagnosed
with osteoporosis should try to
eat a diet rich in these nutrients. People who do not get enough calcium from their diet may need to take a
calcium supplement with vitamin D.
Types of calcium
You can get calcium supplements at most grocery stores and pharmacies. They come in tablets, chewables, and capsules. Not all supplements contain the same amount of calcium or contain vitamin D, so read the label to see which one is best for you.
Consider how much calcium and vitamin D you normally get in your diet. Then each day take the number of tablets that satisfies your
daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D based on your age and health condition. Be careful not to take more than you need.
Current as of:
January 14, 2014
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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