Updated:Mar 17,2014
Most physicians encourage women to eat fat-free and low-fat dairy products to get calcium. This helps reduce their risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis. In this disease, the bone loses calcium and becomes less dense and breaks more easily.

AHA Recommendation

Most women should aim to consume between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. Women should ask their physicians about how much calcium they need in their diets. Fat-free milk and low-fat dairy products are recommended. They're excellent sources of calcium.

Other ways to get calcium include eaying vegetable greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli, and some legumes and soybean products. They are also good sources of calcium.

Does calcium intake affect the risk of developing cardiovascular disease?

Right now scientists don't have enough information to know. But the DASH Diet helped significantly to lower blood pressure. This study was based on eating eight or more fruits and vegetables and fat-free and low-fat dairy products.

Data from the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, recommends that adequate daily intake be...

  • 210 mg for infants from birth to 6 months; 270 mg for ages 6 months to 1 year.
  • 500 mg for children ages 1–3; 800 mg for ages 4–8.
  • 1,300 mg for children and adolescents ages 9–18.
  • 1,000 mg for adults ages 19–50 (for maximal calcium retention).
  • 1,200 mg for adults ages 51 and older.
  • 1300 mg for women who are pregnant and under age 19; 1000 mg for pregnant women ages 19–50.

Related AHA publications/resources:

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