Like many nutritional matters, there is no hard-and-fast rule as to how much calcium we need. And because each individual is different, it’s impossible to say that what is right for one person will be right for the next.
Therefore, here in the UK., RNI or reference nutrient intake value is used as opposed to the RDA or recommended daily amount. What does this mean? Well, the RNI gives a figure that is deemed sufficient for the vast majority of the population, 97.5% to be exact.
However, the amount of calcium deemed necessary to keep us healthy also, apparently, depends upon where in the world you are:
- United Kingdom recommends 700mg per day
- United States recommends 1000mg per day
Other countries also give different figures, which in some places, such as Japan, China and India can be as low as just 300mg per day.
Okay, so now we have an indefinite answer as to how much calcium you need? Where do you get it from? Well, that’s a bit more simple: one of two places. We get calcium from our diet or, if our bodies aren’t getting enough, they will take it from our bones.
Essentially, your body robs Peter to pay Paul - reabsorbing calcium from your bones to serve other important bodily functions. If this calcium is replaced by your diet, your bones will be ‘repaid’.
However, if your diet consistently fails to provide enough calcium, your body will simply keep stealing it from your bones and, eventually, they will become porous and weak. Therefore, the importance of getting adequate calcium cannot be overstated.