What is the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium?

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

Adult women need at least 1000 mg of calcium a day. This amount goes up to a minimum of 1200 mg a day when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Young girls and women on Depo-Provera should also increase their daily intake of calcium to prevent bone loss. Each of us has individual factors like lifestyle, diet and exercise which affect our calcium requirements. Discuss supplementation if you feel it is needed with your health care provider.

Adults, age 19 to 50 years old need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Women older than 50 and men aged 70 and beyond, should increase their daily intake to 1,200 milligrams.

Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the major sources of calcium in the American diet. Each serving from the dairy group will provide approximately 300 milligrams of calcium. (Choose only nonfat and low-fat milk and yogurt and reduced-fat or skim milk cheeses to reduce the amount of saturated fat in these foods.) Although three servings of dairy foods will just about meet many adults’ daily needs, Americans consume only about 11⁄2 servings of dairy daily, on average.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.