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What you need to know about Calcium &Vitamin D supplements

What you need to know about Calcium &Vitamin D supplements

  • September 29, 2018

Calcium and vitamin D play an important role in maintaining muscle and bone health. Though these nutrients are a part of our daily diet, it can be difficult for people to know if they are getting the right amount. Vitamin D is naturally synthesized by the body; so do we really need supplements?

These days there is a lot of talk on Calcium and its effects on the body. If one is having the calcium-rich foods such as cheese, natural yogurt, milk, with a good amount of vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cabbage and okra and also non-vegetarian foods, such as fish, then he or she need not take any supplements.

The ideal daily intake required for the body is 1000-1300 mgs per day. If this intake is covered by the food intake then there is no necessity for supplement. The body absorbs Calcium from food in a better way than from supplements.

If you are someone who takes a balanced diet, that will take care of the required Calcium intake itself. Beyond the age of 50, one can opt for supplements as for them the daily intake should be about 1300 mgs per day. The supplements should be taken with food as these get absorbed better with food.

Food containing calcium


Calcium is available in different salts out of which the Calcium Citrate is easily absorbed and can be taken anytime of the day. The others are Calcium Ascorbate and Carbonate, which are good if taken with food. Don’t exceed 500 mgs in one dose as one should take in to account the Calcium in the diet.

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb and regulate the Calcium metabolism. Apart from bone health, Vitamin D also contributes to respiratory health, regulates kidney functions, helps in weight loss and improves immunity and cognitive function. The required daily intake of Vitamin D is up to 600 IU till the age of 50 and 800 IU over the age of 50. The above can be obtained from having at least 30 minutes sunlight exposure.

However, even in climates where there is abundance of sunlight people are Vitamin D deficient. In such cases, Vitamin D can be obtained from foods like egg, cheese, cream and fish.

If there is deficiency of both Calcium and Vitamin D in the body, then one can be prone to Osteopenia which can lead to Osteoporosis. This condition mostly occurs in the older age groups. Here, there is rapid Demineralization of the bone and the density of the bone goes down which makes it susceptible to fractures.

To avoid osteoporosis, one should also exercise along with diet and supplements. Weight bearing exercises like walking, jogging and playing racket sports of golf increase the blood supply to bones thereby keeping the bones fit. Those with osteoporosis should avoid bending of back and lifting of heavy weights.


Taking vitamin D supplements over a long period of time and out of limit, can cause too much calcium to build up in the body. This can cause of weakening of bones and damage the kidneys and the heart. Consulting your doctor before taking any supplement is the safest option.

About the Authordr-sachin-bhat.jpg 
Dr. Sachin Bhat 
Orthopaedic Surgeon 

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