Category: Nutrition  

Calcium and Vitamin D Recommendations

Calcium and Vitamin D are important for bone strength but deficiency of both is  common and easily avoided. Calcium absorption may be affected by medications and foods.

ACID REDUCERS:  Reduced stomach acid by Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) is good for acid reflux but may interfere with calcium intake.  It’s best to take calcium citrate (NOT calcium carbonate) if on PPI therapy.

STEROIDS: Steroids also interfere with calcium absorption and may directly lead to bone loss by impairing new bone formation. Both calcium and vitamin D are important to prevent bone loss.  Oral steroids are higher risk but evidence suggests that even inhaled steroids, especially in higher doses, may reduce bone density.

Adult Women & Men Calcium (Daily) Vitamin D (Daily)
19 through 49 years 1,000 mg 800 IU
50 years and over 1,200 mg 1000 IU
ALL adults taking Oral steroids or high dose inhaled steroids 1,000-1,500 mg 1,000 IU

Further information about calcium supplementation may be found at the National Osteoporosis Foundation.