sealPurdue News

February 2000

Purdue expert: Take your calcium throughout the day

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Keeping track of your daily calcium intake may not be enough to ensure that your body absorbs adequate amounts to prevent osteoporosis, says a Purdue University expert.

Connie Weaver, head of Purdue's Department of Foods and Nutrition and an expert in calcium absorption, says women who take calcium supplements after a meal high in calcium-rich foods may not absorb as much as they think.

"The body is quite efficient at absorbing calcium levels up to 500 milligrams but becomes less efficient for amounts above that," Weaver says. "The best advice is to eat a calcium-rich source at every meal, and if you are using supplements, the supplement would serve as the calcium-rich source for that meal."

Intake recommendations for calcium are 1,000 milligrams a day, or about three servings of milk, for adults under 50, and 1,200 milligrams a day for adults over 50 to help counteract bone loss due to aging. For children, the daily intake recommendations are 800 milligrams for ages 6-8 and 1,300 milligrams, or about four servings of milk, for youngsters ages 9-18.

Source: Weaver; (765) 494-8231;

Compiled by Susan Gaidos, (765) 494-2081;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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