Calcium is the fifth most abundant mineral in the earths crust and is the most abundant mineral found in humans and most animals.
An adult human contains approximately 1kg of calcium. Of this, 99% is found in the skeleton and teeth, combined with phosphate in a hard crystalline structure known as hydroxyapatite (Ca10 (PO4)6 (OH)2) which gives bones and teeth their structural rigidity.
The body cannot make calcium and it must therefore be provided from the diet. During pregnancy, calcium is provided to the growing fetus from the mother’s diet. After birth, calcium is provided from breast milk or infant formula and then from solid foods when weaning begins.
Adequate intake of dietary calcium is essential from early childhood and throughout life.
Reference nutrient intakes for calcium
|11-18 years, male
|11-18 years, female
||RNI for age group + 550mg increment|
* RNI: reference nutrient intake (the amount estimated to be sufficient for 97% of a specified population group) provided by the Department of health Dietary Reference Values (DRVs).