Inadequate calcium intake mits the bone growth of children & adolescent below
the anatomically desired level. For older adults the adverse effect is an acceleration
of bone loss leading to osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture.
Total daily calcium intake required:
- 600 mg for children up to 4 years
- 800 mg for children between 4 & 10 years
- 1300 mg for teenagers
- 1000 mg for adults below & equal to 50 years
- 1200 mg for adults above 50 years
- 1000 mg during pregnancy/breast feeding
Calcium intake is absorbed into the blood with the help of Vitamin D. Thus production
of Vitamin D is very important and can be achieved in the skin with the aid of UVB
radiation (available from sunrays).
Thus exposing oneself to sunrays through outdoor activities helps in preventing osteoporosis.
- Sun exposure for 5-10 minutes on bare skin, such as the arms and legs, 2-3 times
weekly improves vitamin D status with minimal risk of skin damage.
- Adults can increase their daily vitamin D intake by taking a supplement that contains
400 IU, the amount in most multivitamins.
- Older adults and those who avoid sun exposure should take extra vitamin D for a
total of 800 IU/day.