Last updated on: 4/23/2008 2:18:00 PM PST
What Is the Recommended Amount of Calcium Per Day?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
I. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences established the Adequate Intake (AI) for calcium in their 1997 report Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. In 2004, data from all IOM Dietary Reference Intake reports were compiled into a series of charts titled "Dietary Reference Intakes: Recommended Intakes for Individuals" (retrieved from the United States Department of Agriculture website):

Age Group Females Males
0 - 6 months 210 milligrams (mg)/day 210 milligrams (mg)/day
7 - 12 months 270 mg/day 270 mg/day
1- 3 years 500 mg/day 500 mg/day
4 - 8 years 800 mg/day 800 mg/day
9 - 13 years 1,300 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
14 - 18 years 1,300 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
14 - 18 years
(pregnant or lactating)
1,300 mg/day N/A
19 - 30 years 1,000 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
19 - 30 years
(pregnant or lactating)
1,000 mg/day N/A
31 - 50 years 1,000 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
31 - 50 years
(pregnant or lactating)
1,000 mg/day N/A
51 - 70 years 1,200 mg/day 1,200 mg/day
Over 70 years 1,200 mg/day 1,200 mg/day


[Note: An 8-ounce glass of milk (whole, reduced fat, low fat, or skim) contains approximately 300 mg of calcium.]

1997 - Institute of Medicine 

II. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences established the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) for calcium in their 1997 report Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. In 2004, data from all IOM Dietary Reference Intake reports were compiled into a series of charts titled "Dietary Reference Intakes: Recommended Intakes for Individuals" (retrieved from the United States Department of Agriculture website):

Age Group Females Males
0 - 6 months Not Determinable (ND)* Not Determinable (ND)*
7 - 12 months ND* ND*
1- 3 years 2,500 milligrams (mg)/day 2,500 milligrams (mg)/day
4 - 8 years 2,500 mg/day 2,500 mg/day
9 - 13 years 2,500 mg/day 2,500 mg/day
14 - 18 years 2,500 mg/day 2,500 mg/day
14 - 18 years
(pregnant or lactating)
2,500 mg/day N/A
19 - 70 years 2,500 mg/day 2,500 mg/day
19 - 50 years
(pregnant or lactating)
2,500 mg/day N/A
Over 70 years 2,500 mg/day 2,500 mg/day


1997 - Institute of Medicine 

III. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements provides the following explanation of terms used in the IOM's Daily Reference Intake reports in the Sep. 23, 2005 document "Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium" (available on the Office's website):

"Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is the general term for a set of reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intakes of healthy people. Three important types of reference values included in the DRIs are Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intakes (AI), and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL).

The RDA recommends the average daily intake that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in each age and gender group. An AI is set when there is insufficient scientific data available to establish a RDA. AIs meet or exceed the amount needed to maintain a nutritional state of adequacy in nearly all members of a specific age and gender group... For calcium, the recommended intake is listed as an Adequate Intake (AI), which is a recommended average intake level based on observed or experimentally determined levels...

The Tolerable Upper Limit (UL) is the highest level of daily intake of calcium from food, water and supplements that is likely to pose no risks of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population."

Sep. 23, 2005 - Institute of Medicine