How do calcium and vitamin D protect bones?

Celeste Robb-Nicholson
Internal Medicine
Calcium plays an important role in a number of body processes. If you don't supply your body with the calcium it needs, it will respond by raiding calcium stores in your bones. Consuming adequate amounts of calcium limits these unhealthy withdrawals and, along with adequate vitamin D, safeguards your bones from osteoporosis (a bone-thinning condition that can result in bone fracture).

Vitamin D allows calcium to travel out of the intestines and into the bloodstream, where it can be incorporated into bone. Aim for a calcium intake of 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams daily, mostly through foods, which have many important nutrients in addition to calcium. The National Osteoporosis Foundation currently recommends 800 to 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day for most adult women. Up to 4,000 IU per day is considered safe.

Continue Learning about Minerals

Carotenoids: The Calcium Side Your Bones Crave
Carotenoids: The Calcium Side Your Bones Crave
Keep your skeleton strong and fracture-free by serving that calcium supplement with a healthy salad on the side. Salad? Yep, salad. A 4-year study fo...
Read More
What minerals play an active role in bone health?
Debra Fulghum Bruce PhDDebra Fulghum Bruce PhD
Several minerals play an active role in the absorption of calcium, its metabolism, and bone deve...
More Answers
Is cobalt safe for pregnant women or nursing mothers?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
No one knows if it's safe for pregnant women or nursing mothers to take cobalt supplements. Ther...
More Answers
Selenium Keeps You Young
Selenium Keeps You Young

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.