Should men take calcium supplements?

Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Most healthy men don't need to take calcium supplements.

Calcium is important for men for optimal bone health, but in general it's best to get calcium from foods. Dairy products have calcium and so do dark green leafy vegetables. Certain processed foods and drinks, such as orange juice, are fortified with calcium.

Here's the daily Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium for healthy adult men. Note that the upper limit represents the highest amount you can safely take — but it's not how much you should aim to get. Taking more than the upper limit increases your risk of adverse effects.

Calcium: Daily RDA for men
Age (years) RDA (milligrams) Upper limit (milligrams)
Sources: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; Institute of Medicine (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine)
19-50 1,000 2,500
51-70 1,000 2,000
71 and older 1,200 2,000

Don't forget vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. Foods rich in vitamin D include fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, and tuna. Other food sources are mushrooms and eggs. Milk, some cereals, orange juice, and other foods and drinks are fortified with vitamin D. You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure.

Remember, these guidelines are for healthy adult men in general. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about not getting enough calcium.

Oct. 05, 2018 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Add flax to your baking
  2. Are you getting enough calcium?
  3. Calcium: Building better bones
  4. Calcium
  5. Timing calcium supplements
  6. Can low vitamin D cause high blood pressure?
  7. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  8. Can zinc supplements help treat hidradenitis suppurativa?
  9. Dietary supplements: Skip megadoses
  10. Vitamin C and mood
  11. Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?
  12. Fiber supplements
  13. Flaxseed best when ground
  14. Flaxseed for breakfast?
  15. Ground flaxseed
  16. Heartburn medicines and B-12 deficiency
  17. Herbal supplements
  18. Integrative medicine: Different techniques, one goal
  19. Kratom and pregnancy: Not a safe mix
  20. Multivitamins for kids
  21. Nutrition: Does it come in a pill?
  22. Nutrition know-how: Why whole food counts
  23. Percent Daily Value
  24. Prebiotics, probiotics and your health
  25. Prenatal vitamins
  26. Magnesium supplements
  27. Nutritional supplements
  28. Are dietary supplements right for you?
  29. Bromelain
  30. Calories and nutrients to fuel sports performance
  31. Curcumin
  32. Dietary supplements: What to know before you buy
  33. Is your dietary supplement safe?
  34. Melatonin
  35. Smart practices for healthy living
  36. Tips for staying supplement savvy
  37. What are omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil?
  38. What are probiotics?
  39. What are multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements?
  40. What is Boswellia?
  41. What is ginger?
  42. What is whey protein?
  43. Vitamin C megadoses
  44. Vitamin C: An essential nutrient
  45. Vitamin D and MS: Any connection?
  46. Vitamin D: Can it prevent Alzheimer's & dementia?
  47. Vitamin D deficiency
  48. Vitamin D: Essential with calcium
  49. Vitamin D for babies
  50. Vitamin D toxicity
  51. Vitamins for MS: Do supplements make a difference?
  52. Vitamins 101
  53. What does a 'seal of approval' mean?
  54. Wheatgrass