In this section, we’ll do our best to answer some frequently asked questions about calcium supplements, vitamins, and more. The questions are grouped by category to make your search easier.
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Do I need to take calcium supplements if I drink milk everyday?
Most people believe drinking milk every day should meet their calcium needs. However, a glass of milk contains roughly 305 milligrams (mg) of calcium, while the daily calcium intake recommended for adults is about 1,000 mg per day. Not to mention, most calcium supplements are paired with vitamin D to guarantee maximized absorption of calcium, one thing regular milk doesn’t have.
How do I know I need calcium supplements?
Most adults can benefit from calcium supplements as they often don’t get the recommended daily calcium intake from their diets alone. Also, certain people are at risk for calcium deficiency, including:
- Postmenopausal women
- Women with amenorrhea, a condition in which menstrual periods stop due to low body weight
- People who are lactose intolerant
Can I Take calcium supplements while breastfeeding?
It is highly recommended to continue taking vitamin D and calcium supplements while breastfeeding because of the loss of bone density associated with it.
Do I need calcium during pregnancy?
Our bodies can’t make calcium, which I why we need to get it from our diets and supplements. Pregnant women must get at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Calcium supplements are often the best way to reach this number, as most women don’t get enough calcium from their diets alone.
Do I need calcium after menopause?
Since calcium intake tends to decrease with age, calcium supplementation is critical in postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women are also at higher risk of osteoporosis, which is why keeping a calcium intake of 1,200 mg per day is recommended. To achieve this goal, a mix of calcium supplements and a balanced diet is necessary.
How much calcium do I need per day?
It depends. According to the Institute of Medicine, the amount of calcium per day varies per age and sex: Women 50 and younger: 1,000 mg per day Men 70 and younger: 1,000 mg per day Women over 50: 1,200 mg per day Men over 70: 1,200 mg per day Children can also benefit from calcium, and the recommended calcium intake also varies per age: Younger than six months: 200 mg per day 6 to 12 months: 260 mg per day 1 to 3 years: 700 mg per day 4 to 8 years: 1,000 mg per day 9 to 18 years: 1,300 mg per day
How much calcium do I need if I suffer from osteopenia?
If you suffer from osteopenia, you need between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day, but, you also need 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day to help strengthen bones and treat your symptoms.
Why do I need calcium and vitamin D?
Calcium and vitamin D are often paired together as supplements. Calcium helps build and maintain healthy bones, while vitamin D helps your body effectively absorb calcium. So, even if you’re taking a calcium supplement, if you’re deficient in vitamin D, your calcium may be going to waste.
Do I need calcium for healthy teeth and bones?
Yes. Calcium plays a vital role in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones in children and adults. Calcium helps the jaw bones stay healthy and strong enough to hold the teeth in place. Also, supplementing with calcium means you can decrease bone loss, which can affect tooth loss as well.
Do I need calcium for hair growth?
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with alopecia or hair loss. Adding vitamin D and calcium supplements may help create new hair follicles, which can play a role in hair growth.
Do I need calcium to absorb magnesium?
Adequate levels of magnesium are essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and vitamin D. Magnesium neutralizes acid, which helps balance your body’s chemistry when you take calcium to avoid some of the associated side effects of calcium supplements.
VITAMIN D FAQS
Do I need vitamin D supplements?
Even people that get adequate dietary calcium can be low in vitamin D. Most adults in the following categories should take vitamin D supplements:
- Postmenopausal women
- Adults on long-term steroids
- Elderly people
- Expectant and breastfeeding mothers
- People with chronic kidney disease
- People with parathyroid disease
Why do I need vitamin D in pregnancy?
Vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption and metabolism of calcium. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to preclampsia and other pregnancy issues, including labor and birth infections. Not to mention, vitamin D is hugely beneficial for the baby.
How much vitamin D do I need while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding women not only need to meet their vitamin D requirements, but their infant’s as well. The recommended intake for breastfeeding women is in the range of 5,000 to 6,000 IU per day.
How do I know I have vitamin D deficiency?
Most people show no symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, which is why it goes unnoticed so often. Some signs and symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency include:
- Getting sick often
- Constant feeling of fatigue and tiredness
- Back pain
- Impaired wound healing
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
How much vitamin D do I need per day?
Recommendations form the Institute of Medicine suggest that an average daily intake of 400 – 800 IU is enough for most individuals. However, much like calcium, adequate levels of vitamin D also vary according to age: Younger than six months: 400 IU per day 6 to 12 months: 400 IU per day 1 to 70 years: 600 IU per day 71 years and older: 800 IU per day
Do I need vitamin D or D3?
The recommended form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. This is the natural form of vitamin D your body produces from sunlight exposure.
Do I need vitamin D in the winter?
More than ever. In the Pacific Northwest, the sun isn’t strong enough during winter for the sun’s UVB rays to reach your skin and produce vitamin D. During these months, we mostly rely on getting our vitamin D from food sources and supplements.
Do I need vitamin D in the summer?
Even though summer months have sunnier days, you can’t rely on them to get adequate vitamin D levels. If you wear sunscreen, as you should during summer, your skin doesn’t produce vitamin D as sunscreen blocks UVB from penetrating the skin layers. This means you still need vitamin D supplements.
Do I need vitamin K2 with vitamin D?
Yes. To maximize the benefits of taking vitamin D, while also minimizing the risks of toxicity, you should take vitamin K2 while taking vitamin D. Many Vitamin D supplements are already formulated with vitamin K to make it easier for you.
Do I need to take vitamin D with food?
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D can be taken on a full stomach or an empty stomach. It can be taken any time, and since it’s available in pill, chewable tablets, and liquid form, you can pick the one you prefer the most.
Do I need to take vitamin D with magnesium?
Yes. The enzymes that metabolize vitamin D in the body require magnesium. Also, magnesium helps activate vitamin D in the body, which makes the pairing even more critical.
VITAMIN K FAQS
Are vitamin K and K2 the same?
No. Vitamin K, also known as vitamin K1, activates proteins that serve important roles in blood clotting, heart health, and bone health. On the other hand, vitamin K2 helps direct calcium to the right places, mostly into bones to help support bone health.
How does vitamin K work in the body?
Vitamin K enables our body to produce a protein and clotting factor known as prothrombin. Vitamin K is often found in plants, once people eat it, bacteria found in the large intestine convert it to vitamin K2.
What are vitamin K health benefits?
Vitamin K benefits the body in various ways. Primarily, vitamin K has been associated with good bone health, improved cognitive health, and heart health as it may help lower blood pressure.
How much vitamin K do I need per day?
Adults get most of their vitamin K needs through their diets. For vitamin K, the recommended daily value is about 90 micrograms for women and 120 micrograms for men. For vitamin K2, the recommended intake is between 100 to 200 micrograms per day.
Which vitamin is K best for osteoporosis?
When it comes to vitamin K for osteoporosis, it is said the best form is vitamin K2 due to its essential role in bone health.
Is Vitamin K in pregnancy, okay?
The use of vitamin K supplements during pregnancy is not recommended. However, speak with your primary doctor before incorporating a vitamin K supplement into your diet.