What is Calcium?
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.1
Benefits of Calcium
Calcium is primarily stored in bones. If we don’t get enough calcium from our diet, the body will take calcium from bones to ensure normal cell function. This can lead to weakened bones over time and may raise the risk of osteoporosis.2,3
Foods High in Calcium
Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are just one way to get your daily recommended intake of calcium. Some non-dairy options include calcium-fortified orange juice, kale, soybeans, tofu set with calcium-sulphate, canned salmon/sardines with the bones, and white beans.4
An 8-ounce (1 cup) glass of fortified orange juice contains about 30% of the recommended Daily Value of calcium, similar to an equal serving of milk.4 The calcium in fortified OJ is also well-absorbed.2
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in bone health.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D improves calcium absorption and helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Although we can make vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, this may be difficult during the fall/winter months, especially if you live in higher latitudes (far north/south), spend much time indoors, or have darker skin.3,5
Foods High in Vitamin D
Very few foods contain vitamin D – fortified orange juice, fortified dairy products, egg yolks, fatty fish, margarine and mushrooms.4 While orange juice does not naturally contain vitamin D, 8 ounces of fortified orange juice contains 15% of the recommended daily value.*
Through the Life Stages
Below are age specific benefits calcium and vitamin D provide the body:
- Both calcium and vitamin D support the health and formation of bones in mother and child. This is especially important in the later stages of pregnancy when the baby’s skeleton is developing.
- Fortified orange juice is an excellent, non-dairy source of calcium, typically providing about 350 milligrams per serving, or 30% of the daily needs for pregnant women.3,4*
Kids, Teens & Young Adults
- Maximum bone density is reached by early adulthood; this, it is very important children and teens consume enough calcium.3
- Fortified orange juice can provide almost one-third of the calcium and vitamin D needs of children in a recommended serving (6oz (3/4 cup) for kids under 7 years; 8oz (1cup) for older kids6).
- Vitamin D-fortified orange juice has been shown to increase vitamin D blood levels in children.7
- Fortified orange juice has been shown to be similar to milk in positively affecting markers of bone growth in children.8
- Bones are constantly being remodeled and the entire skeleton is replaced about every 10 years.3 Adequate calcium and vitamin D, as part of a balanced diet along with physical activity, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.9
- Calcium requirements are higher in persons older than 50 years, and vitamin D needs are higher in persons 70 years and older.3
- An 8-ounce glass of fortified orange juice provides about one-third of the Daily Value for calcium.3
- Fortified orange juice has been shown to be just as effective as a vitamin D supplement in maintaining vitamin D status in adults.10
* Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Nutrient values may vary based on manufacturer, brand, and product types.
- Government of Canada, 2019. Acceptable Nutrient Function Claims, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
- Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. (2017). Dietary supplement fact sheet: Calcium.
- Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (slightly revised). US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory; May 2016.
- Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. (2018). Dietary supplement fact sheet: Vitamin D.
- Heyman et al. Pediatrics. 2017;139(6):e20170967.
- Economos et al. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014;114:709-717.
- Neyestani et al. J Human Nutr Diet. 2014; 27:606-616.
- USDA/DHHS. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Biancuzzo et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91:1621-1626.