Calcium is an essential mineral for the development and maintenance of our bones and teeth. It is also needed by our blood-clotting system, heart, and nerves for them to work. Calcium could also be used for the treatment of different conditions such as osteoporosis (low bone density), rickets (softening of the bones) and osteomalacia (pain induced by soft bones). Bone and muscle quality decreases as we age.
On average, a person needs about 1200 to 1500 milligrams of calcium per day according to many nutritionists. These levels of calcium however are not enough to maintain bone growth alone. Other minerals such as protein, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D are also necessary for bone and muscle growth.
Both men and women need ample amounts of calcium in their bodies. However, women need to have more calcium intake on different stages in their life such as during pregnancy. The question that women commonly ask is how much calcium do women need?
There are many factors that could stress out the calcium intake a woman needs. The question “how much calcium do women need” differs on factors such as age, weight, medical condition, pregnancy, etc. So there is no concrete answer in general. However, here are some factors that may help you measure just how much calcium do women need specifically.
According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) calcium demands increases with age.
- Youth (9-18 years old) requires 1300 mg per day
- Adults (19-50 years old) require 1000 mg per day
- Adults (51 years old and above) require 1200 mg per day
However, there are also special groups of women who need calcium more than the average amount required by the RDA. This makes it more difficult to answer the question “how much calcium do women need?” The following groups are the ones that need more calcium.
This period is the developmental stage of females where bone growth and body transformations occur. A deficiency in calcium at an early age may lead to bone development diseases in the future.
Women in general have less dense bones compared to men. Recent studies suggest that only half of the required RDA of calcium is absorbed by women. However, during menopausal stage women tend to lose more calcium as estrogen, a hormone known to protect calcium, also depletes in numbers. They need at least 1500 mg of calcium daily.
A lactating woman needs more calcium for both her and her baby’s needs. On average, a pregnant woman needs about 1200 mg of calcium per day to supplement for both her and the child calcium requirements.
There are many sources of calcium such as milk and its dairy products, broccoli and kale, mineral water, soy products, canned fish, and citrus juices could help you meet the required daily intake. There are also calcium and other supplements available in the market.
If you are still asking “how much calcium do women need?” for someone you know like a spouse, friend or relative because of her special condition, it is best to consult a nutritionist, dietitian or a doctor to get a concrete answer.