Is Calcium a Vital Nutrient for Your Health?

  • September 17, 2023
Reading Time: 6 minutes

We regularly hear about the significance of different nutrients for our overall health in today’s health-conscious world. Of all these, calcium stands out as a necessary nutrient that is essential to preserving our health. We will explore the world of calcium in this post, learning about its advantages, dietary sources, and the causes of why it is essential for people of all ages.

Intake recommendations for calcium and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [1]. DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and sex, include the following:

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): Average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals; often used to plan nutritionally adequate diets for individuals
  • Adequate Intake (AI): Intake at this level is assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy; established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA
  • Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): Average daily level of intake estimated to meet the requirements of 50% of healthy individuals; usually used to assess the nutrient intakes of groups of people and to plan nutritionally adequate diets for them; can also be used to assess the nutrient intakes of individuals
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): Maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Calcium 

0-6 months*200 mg200 mg
7-12 months*260 mg260 mg
1-3 years700 mg700 mg
4-8 years1,000 mg1,000 mg
9-13 years1,300 mg1,300 mg
14-18 years1,300 mg1,300 mg1,300 mg1,300 mg
19-50 years1,000 mg1,000 mg1,000 mg1,000 mg
51-70 years1,000 mg1,200 mg
>70 + years1,200 mg1,200 mg
* (Adequate Intake – AI)

Understanding the Significance of Calcium

A mineral called calcium is well known for helping to keep bones strong and healthy. Its significance goes much beyond that, though. In addition to providing many body functions, calcium is an essential nutrient.

Fundamental mineral calcium plays a crucial part in the vast orchestra of human physiology. Beyond its very well link to healthy bones, it has other functions all across the body’s various systems. Here, we’ll explore calcium’s significant relevance and highlight the variety of ways it improves our general health.

The Role of Calcium in Bone Health

The first, and probably most well-known, aspect of calcium’s importance is its significant influence on bone health. Our bones are constantly being renewed; they are not static things. Calcium works as a hardworking builder, strengthening bone structure during development and maintaining it as we age. It provides our bodies with the very framework they need to move freely and stand tall.

Calcium for Muscle Function

Calcium conducts a silent symphony of muscle activity beneath our skin. Calcium ions are the signaling molecules that start muscular contraction when we deliberately decide to move, whether it’s a small gesture or a strenuous workout. Our muscles may deteriorate without a sufficient supply of calcium, resulting in cramping, weakness, and the inability to carry out even the most fundamental physical duties.

Calcium’s Role in Nerve Transmission

Calcium functions outside the scope of our musculoskeletal system as the neurological messenger that links our body and mind. Calcium is essential for the effective signaling of nerve cells. Everything from feeling the sun’s warmth on your skin to having the precise coordination needed for challenging jobs depends on this mechanism.

Dietary Sources of Calcium

Calcium is a critical nutrient that contributes to various bodily functions, making it essential to incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet. Here, we’ll explore some of the primary dietary sources of calcium to help you make informed choices about your nutritional intake.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are among the most well-known and readily available sources of calcium. They include milk, yogurt, and cheese. These calcium-rich options not only provide the mineral itself but also offer other essential nutrients like vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption. Including dairy products in your daily diet can be a convenient way to maintain your calcium intake.

Leafy Greens

For those who prefer or need non-dairy sources of calcium, leafy greens offer a fantastic alternative. Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach are packed with calcium. These greens not only provide calcium but also boast a range of other vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals who are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet.

Fortified Foods

In today’s market, you’ll find an increasing number of fortified foods that have been enriched with calcium. This includes certain cereals, plant-based milk alternatives (like almond or soy milk), and even orange juice. These fortified options are designed to help individuals boost their calcium intake without relying solely on traditional dairy products. It’s a convenient solution for those looking to diversify their calcium sources.

When planning your meals, consider incorporating a variety of these calcium-rich options into your diet to ensure you are getting a well-rounded intake of this vital nutrient. As we’ll explore in the following sections, the specific amount of calcium you need may vary depending on your life stage, so tailoring your choices accordingly can contribute significantly to your overall health and well-being.

The Importance of Calcium in Different Life Stages

Calcium is an essential nutrient that plays a pivotal role in various aspects of our health. However, its significance varies across different stages of life, and understanding these variations is key to optimizing our overall well-being.

Childhood and Adolescence

During childhood and adolescence, calcium is of paramount importance. These are the years of rapid growth and development, and calcium acts as the primary builder of strong bones. As children grow, their bodies constantly lay down new bone tissue, and calcium is a fundamental component of this process. Adequate calcium intake during this stage helps ensure that bones develop to their full potential, reducing the risk of bone-related issues in adulthood, such as osteoporosis.


As we transition into adulthood, the emphasis on calcium continues. Our bodies are constantly remodeling bone tissue, and calcium remains essential for maintaining bone density and strength. In adulthood, bone density can gradually decrease, especially as we age. Ensuring a consistent calcium intake through diet and, if necessary, supplements can help slow down this process, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis in later life.

Pregnancy and Lactation

The only life stages with considerably higher calcium requirements are pregnancy and lactation. The body of a pregnant woman supports not just her own calcium needs, but also the growing bones and teeth of the unborn child. If a pregnant woman’s diet is deficient in calcium, her body will use calcium from its own reserves, potentially endangering the health of her bones. Additionally, lactating women need more calcium to assist in the formation of breast milk.

Knowing how important calcium is at different phases of life emphasizes how important it is to adjust one’s diet to suit these shifting needs. Adults should prioritize bone health, while pregnant and breastfeeding women should increase their intake to support their health and that of their unborn children. Parents must make sure their children receive enough calcium for growth.


It is beyond dispute that calcium plays a crucial part in preserving our health and well-being. Beyond its well-known connection to bone health, calcium has a variety of effects on how our bodies work. The deep importance of calcium in many life phases and facets of human physiology has been revealed throughout this text.

We’ve discussed how calcium serves as the cornerstone for strong bone formation, particularly during childhood and adolescence. Our body’s structural base is formed by it, guaranteeing that we stand tall and move fluidly.

Another important issue we’ve covered in relation to enabling muscle function is calcium’s function in muscle contraction. Our muscles can deteriorate without enough calcium, which can cause pain and weakness.

We have also looked at several dietary sources of calcium, such as dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified meals, to maximize its health advantages. With the help of these choices, we are able to satisfy our calcium requirements despite dietary preferences or limitations.

Reference Links:


Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is found in some foods, added to others, present in some medicines (such as antacids), and available as a dietary supplement.


Calcium Deficiency Causes

Chemically, calcium (Ca) is an alkaline earth metal with an atomic number 20. Calcium is also a mineral present in the human body, with 99% of calcium stored in the body, teeth, and bones, as well as the blood, muscles, and fluid between the cells. The presence of this abundant mineral is therefore vital to the proper functioning of the human body.https://www.news-medical.net/health/Calcium-Deficiency-Causes.aspx



What happens if I don’t get enough calcium in my diet?

If you consistently fail to meet your calcium needs, you may be at risk of developing weak bones, muscle problems, and nerve issues. It’s essential to maintain an adequate calcium intake.

Can I rely solely on supplements for my calcium intake?

While supplements can be helpful, it’s best to obtain most of your calcium from food sources. Supplements should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Are there any side effects associated with excessive calcium?

Consuming too much calcium through supplements can lead to kidney stones and other health issues. It’s crucial to follow the recommended guidelines for calcium intake.

What are some calcium-rich foods for vegetarians and vegans?

Non-dairy sources of calcium include leafy greens, fortified plant-based milk, tofu, and almonds. These can be great additions to vegetarian and vegan diets.

Is calcium intake equally important for men and women?

Yes, both men and women require adequate calcium intake for optimal health. However, women have an increased need for calcium during pregnancy and menopause.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Stay in the loop with everything you need to know.