How can I get more calcium?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Aim for 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, and try to get half of it from food.

Here’s the challenge with calcium: It’s kind of easy to get too much, and that can hurt your kidneys, including causing painful kidney stones. (A recent report claimed that calcium pills don't help bones and might hurt your heart, but the study had big flaws. Wait for further research on that one.)

Here are a few strategies for including calcium into your nutritional plan:
  • Get as much as you can from food. Calcium abounds in dairy products, canned salmon and sardines. There's also some in broccoli and kale.
  • Get the rest from a supplement. Buy a combo form with 400 to 500 milligrams of magnesium -- it keeps calcium from making you constipated -- and some D3, to help absorption. Count this in your D3 total.
  •  Buy calcium citrate. It’s the most easily absorbed.
  • Space out your intake. Your body can absorb only so much calcium at once, so if you have milk and cereal for breakfast, take your calcium later.

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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.