We all need calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones but how much do we need and where should we get it from?
1,000 milligrams/day for those age 19 to 50
1,200 milligrams/day for those age 50 or over
1,000 milligrams/day for pregnant or lactating adult women
Most people immediately think of milk as the best source of calcium. Milk is a good source however too much may lead to health problems, especially ovarian and prostate cancer. In addition whole milk has saturated fat and all milk has Vitamin A, which at high levels can, paradoxically, weaken bones. This may be the reason that some studies show increased bone fractures in those elderly who drink lots of milk.
Calcium can also be obtained from dark leafy green vegetables and some types of legumes. A variety of calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice and soy milk, are now on the market.
The body needs Vitamin D to process calcium. Almost all milk sold in the US is fortified with this Vitamin and the body produces it from sunlight on the skin.
Note that most people in the world become lactose intolerant after infanthood. For them, eating or drinking dairy products causes problems like cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Certain groups are much more likely to have lactose intolerance.For example, 90 percent of Asians, 70 percent of blacks and Native Americans, and 50 percent of Hispanics are lactose intolerant, compared to only about 15 percent of people of Northern European descent. This appear to be an evolutionary adaption.
In addition, people, including people of Northern European descent, can become less lactose tolerant as they age.
One alternative for those who are lactose intolerant but who still enjoy consuming dairy products is to take a pill containing enzymes that digest milk sugar along with the dairy product, or to consume milk that has the lactase enzyme added to it. Alternatively, calcium can be obtained from non-dairy products previous noted.https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium-full-story/