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Daily Calcium Recommendation

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 04, 2012 at 11:39 PM

It seems well established that when one is taking in proper amounts of the nutrients involved with improving calcium metabolism (e.g. Vitamin D, K2, Magnesium, etc.) calcium need is reduced.

Assuming an adult is receiving appropriate intakes of such nutrients, what would be a recommended range of calcium intake to shoot for?

Edit: This question has stagnated for a while so I'm throwing on a bounty. Questions about calcium intake in the past like this one and this one have answers suggesting things like "forget about the RDA (of calcium)" and "the Paleo recommendation for calcium is too low", which seem to contradict each other (maybe) and don't give numbers regarding how much calcium we should get on a good paleo diet. I'm hoping for a range (e.g. 1000-1200mg), but feel free to speculate.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on April 10, 2012
at 06:37 AM

@Stephen: Thanks for pointing this out. I appreciate you taking the time to look into and call out my references if they are weak or make illogical assumptions. I threw those references up quickly and probably did not look too deeply into the first paper on vit D. Though I think my second Vit D reference makes the case fairly well.

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on April 09, 2012
at 01:19 PM

It just shows that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, because it can give false feelings of certainty. While we may have a lot in common, mice, guinea pigs, and rats are not humans. Animal experiments tell us where to look and where to conduct further research, that's all. When deciding on interventions, only human testing counts, and even there, there will be people who don't react in the expected way. You wouldn't take a drug that had only been tested on rats, would you?

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on April 09, 2012
at 01:16 PM

If it is now acceptable to use guinea pig studies as the basis for dietary guidelines, then vitamin C supplementation may even be dangerous. That's certainly what this paper implies: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.20291 . So who is right?

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on April 09, 2012
at 01:03 PM

A similar caveat applies to the (very long) article on vitamin C and bone. For example: "The production and release of large amounts of vitamin C concurrently or immediately following cortisol release rapidly reduces cortisol and epinephrine to within normal range, the pre-stressed state.(7,8,9,10)" A look at the references reveals that two were studies of guinea pigs, and one was of adrenal cells in culture. The only human study does not show what is claimed, namely that vitamin C affects cortisol levels. The article is full of huge logical leaps like this.

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on April 09, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Mscott: I don't think that http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0169-6009(91)90025-U says what you think it says. Did you read the whole paper? (The full text is not available to the public without paying.) This was a very narrow in-vitro study of one human cell line. The abstract addresses osteocalcin (hormone) secretion and says only that it increases in the presence of extracellular calcium. You can't really extrapolate from that and say that "vitamin D reduces need for calcium." That may be true, but the paper you cited doesn't say that at all.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Meredith-That's an interesting article, thank you for sending it my way. Perhaps Linus Pauling was right all along!

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:59 AM

What brings you to this conclusion?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 08:51 AM

Travis, how is that insane? Masai eat more than 5g a day, and they definitely get enough vitamin D too.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:25 AM

A gram a day is a very reasonable amount of calcium. Most paleo diets don't provide enough calcium and people parade around like idiots saying 'but absorption is better and magnesium modulates calcium usage.' True to a degree but people on paleo diets should be watching their calcium intake like hawks. It's real problem. Proper calcium intake can be tested for by testing parathyroid hormone.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on April 03, 2012
at 09:57 PM

A gram of calcium per day is an insane amount. Probably a dangerous amount for someone who is vitamin d replete.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I've been reading about Vitamin C lately and am stunned at how critical it is as a bone building nutrient. So, I am now considering it as an essential bone nutrient cofactor. sunlightd.org/news72011.html

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I've been reading about Vitamin C lately and am stunned at how critical it is as a bone building nutrient. So, I am not considering it as an essential bone nutrient cofactor. http://sunlightd.org/news72011.html

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 05, 2012
at 02:02 AM

Here are a few studies I have immediately available. Vitamin D: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016960099190025U and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12637589 Vitamin K2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9076586 Magnesium: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7669510

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 05, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Sources/explanations for your first statement would also be appreciated -- not that I find it implausible.

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2 Answers

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4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on April 03, 2012
at 09:04 PM

The issue is not just how much is recommended, but what food it is in, how your body absorbs it, and the balance of other vitamins and hormones.

The RDA is about 1000mg per day for adults, slightly more for pregnant and lactating women. The World Health Organization suggests that calcium intake lower than 500mg is associated with osteoporosis in countries with high osteoporosis rates. Ramiel Nagel suggests 750 to 1500 mg in his protocol for tooth and gum health (http://www.curetoothdecay.com/Gum_Disease/gum-disease-calcium.htm ). Paul Jaminet suggests eating a healthy diet and a multivitamin, and it should be fine. (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=415 ). Mark Sisson suggests the issue is more about Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K2

So, shoot for around 750-1000mg, probably don't go too far over that mark, but don't worry about being under it. Try to get good sources of Magnesium, get some Sun, and eat pastured animals.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 08:51 AM

Travis, how is that insane? Masai eat more than 5g a day, and they definitely get enough vitamin D too.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:25 AM

A gram a day is a very reasonable amount of calcium. Most paleo diets don't provide enough calcium and people parade around like idiots saying 'but absorption is better and magnesium modulates calcium usage.' True to a degree but people on paleo diets should be watching their calcium intake like hawks. It's real problem. Proper calcium intake can be tested for by testing parathyroid hormone.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on April 03, 2012
at 09:57 PM

A gram of calcium per day is an insane amount. Probably a dangerous amount for someone who is vitamin d replete.

0
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on April 03, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Your answer follows directly from your first paragraph, which presumably came from the same sources I follow (WAPF, Masterjohn, etc...).

As such, no calcium supplement should be needed, so long as you are getting calcium in your diet. When I say "getting", I mean not even having to bother to track it because, well, you eat, right? A basic Paleo or WAPF diet with the right meats, veggies, dairy and nuts in whatever moderation moderates you, etc... right?

If you eat even basically from the categories above, you don't need to supplement calcium. Its not a scarce mineral.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:59 AM

What brings you to this conclusion?

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