Are you getting enough calcium?

Find out with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) online Calcium Calculator, now available in Spanish

IOF has launched a new Spanish-language online calcium calculator. The new calculator enhances IOF’s popular English-language [link 665]calcium calculator [/link]which was launched in October 2006 as part of an extensive new nutrition section, available thanks to non-restricted support from TETRA PAK.

The IOF calcium calculator is one of the few calculators that measures calcium intake over a week rather than for one particular day – thereby giving a better representation of average daily intake.

“Numerous clinical studies have shown the importance of a healthy diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D intake,” said Dr José Zanchetta, IOF Board member and Representative for Latin America. “Children, postmenopausal women and the elderly in particular require higher amounts of calcium for optimal bone health.”

“Most people don’t get enough calcium in their diets,” explained IOF CEO Daniel Navid. “We hope that the new Spanish-language calcium calculator will help raise awareness of personal calcium intake in Spanish-speaking countries.”

How much calcium is recommended? Although each country has its own official recommendations, the FAO/WHO recommends the following daily allowance of calcium:

• Infants and Children to 9 years of age: from 300 to 700 mg per day depending
on age;
• Adolescents: 10-18 years 1300 mg per day;
• Women: 19 years to menopause 1000 mg per day;
• Postmenopausal women: 1300 mg per day;
• Men up to age 65, 1000 mg;
• Men over age 65, 1300 mg per day.

The 'recommended allowance' refers to the amount of calcium that each age group is advised to consume (with daily intake corresponding to an average intake over a period of time), to ensure that calcium consumed compensates for calcium excreted from the body each day. The calcium allowance figures for children and adolescents also take account of skeletal growth, and those for postmenopausal women and the elderly also take account of lower intestinal calcium absorption efficiency.

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt are the most readily available sources of calcium in the diet. For example, one 200 ml. glass of milk provides at least one-third of a child’s daily recommended calcium allowance. Other foods, such as certain green vegetables (curley kale, bok choy, broccoli) and whole canned fish such as sardines or pilchards, tofu set with calcium, figs, and certain nuts (almonds, brazil nuts) are also relatively high in calcium. People can also increase their calcium intake through calcium-enriched foods and drinks and, if necessary, through calcium supplements.

Calculate your calcium intake with the [link 665]IOF calcium calculator[/link] and learn more about [link 338]nutrition and bone health [/link]on the IOF website.