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Calcium and Vitamin D: Who needs it and how much

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Right from the childhood we have been listening to our parents humming the tune of consuming eatables carrying Calcium and Vitamin D and the tune still carries on. They keep the bones healthy as much as they did when we were children. Calcium and Vitamin D tend to prevent any kind of harm to the bone and even keep you immune from osteoporosis with the coming of age.

These things have left the people wondering on how much intake of these nutrients should be had and whether it would be fine even if consumed in excess.

The California University conducted studies on the same and concluded that certain people have sufficient amount of Vitamin D and calcium in their bones due to regular intake of milk and the exposure to sun and therefore do not even need the dosage of both. Still, if they happen to take the same, it might even have adverse effects on them in terms of giving them kidney stones or even heart disease for that matter.

Vitamin D is measured in International Units (IU). The people falling in the age group of 19-70 should have 600 IU while those above 70 should take about 800 IU. When we talk of calcium, the newborns upto 6 months of age need about 200 mg, infants from 7 to 1 year need 260 grams of calcium, children from 1 -3 years of age need 700 milligrams, 4 years to 8 years- about 1000 milligrams, teenagers require about 1300 milligram, adults of age upto 50 years of age need about 1000 milligrams and old people from 51 to 70 years of age need about 1000 milligrams. Women in the same age group need about 1200 milligrams while the women who are pregnant need about 1000 milligrams of the same dose.

It is said that the Vitamin D and Calcium are two nutrients which complement each other because presence of Vitamin D is important for the calcium to be absorbed from the digestion chamber. Therefore, we should try to make different combinations of such foods with each other so that both the nutrients can be fed to the body. These questions have been raised in different countries by the dieticians given the rising cases of osteoporosis, fractures, depletion of synovial fluid in the joints in both men and women. Women, however stand a higher risk to the problem given the situation of estrogen level being lost at the time of menopause which can adversely affect the bone density.

All you need to do at this point of time is getting to know the food and drinks that you should consume and also look for any signs of family history of bones abnormalities happening from lack of Vitamin D.

Look for calcium in the dairy items like milk, yogurt, orange juice, broccoli and the breakfast cereals. It is easy to find the required 1000 milligrams of calcium in the regular diet consisting of oats in the breakfast soaked in milk, orange juice, cup of yogurt and the evergreen spinach.

When we talk of Vitamin D, the following food serve the purpose really well- Sunlight, mushroom, cod liver oil, Egg yolk, Shrimp, tuna, milk and cereals.

But at the same time you need to take care that you do not consume them in excess. Consuming too much calcium in the form of broccoli wherein you are already having your diet of milk could intoxicate your thyroid gland.  Yet there are certain vegetables present like calcium, beans, collards which carry oxalates that inhibit calcium absorption. Vitamin D is made from the exposure of the skin to the sun and excess exposure can cause excess tanning of the skin.