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Recommended intake for adults, in milligrams per day (recommended calcium allowances based on North American and western European data):

  • Adolescents, 10–18 years - 1300 mg / day
  • Females, 19 years to menopause - 1000 mg / day
  • Females, pregnant women (last trimester) - 1200 mg / day
  • Females, lactating women - 1000 mg / day
  • Females, postmenopause - 1300 mg / day
  • Males, 19–65 years - 1000 mg / day
  • Males, 65+ years - 1300 mg / day

The calcium requirement of an adult is generally recognized to be the intake required to maintain calcium balance and therefore skeletal integrity

Calcium balance is determined by the relationship between calcium intake and calcium absorption and excretion. Relatively small changes in calcium absorption and excretion can neutralize a high intake or compensate for a low one. 

A positive calcium balance (net calcium retention) is required throughout growth, particularly during the first 2 years of life and during puberty and adolescence. These age groups therefore constitute populations at risk for calcium deficiency, as do pregnant women (especially in the last trimester), lactating women, postmenopausal women, and, possibly, elderly men. 

Albert Schweitzer

A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help. 

Dietary Reference Intake DRI

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are reference values that are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people. They include both recommended intakes and upper intake levels.

Although the reference values are based on data, the data are often insufficient or drawn from studies that had limitations in addressing the question. Scientific judgment is required in setting the reference values. 

  • EAR - Estimated Average Requirement - a nutrient intake value that is estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a group.
  • RDA - Recommended Dietary Allowance - the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) healthy individuals in a group.
  • AI - Adequate Intake: a value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations of nutrient intake by a group of healthy people.
    Used when an RDA cannot be determined.
  • UL - Tolerable Upper Intake Level - the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases.

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