Minerals // Calcium

Supply Situation

According to nutrition surveys of five European countries, the average calcium intake is 884 mg/day for adult men, and 786 mg/day for women (39).

Austrian survey data demonstrate inadequate average intakes in all age groups among women and in all men except those aged 26–35 years (41).

A similar situation can be seen in the U.K., where 77% of women and 52% of men do not achieve recent intake recommendations of 1000 mg/day (42) and in Italy where 75% of Italian women and over 50% of men also fail to achieve this level of intake.

In the Netherlands, by contrast, the majority of the population does meet daily recommendations (43).

In 2009, a U.S. report presented national estimates of usual nutrient intake distributions for calcium and compared those estimates to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the Institute of Medicine in 1997(44). Overall, about one third of individuals one year and over met their adequate intake (AI) levels for calcium. Females aged 14–50 years were even less likely than their male counterparts to exceed their AI. 

Dairy foods provide 75% of the calcium in the American diet. However, it is typically during the most critical period for peak bone mass development that adolescents tend to replace milk with soft drinks.

Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and updated by Dr Igor Bendik-Falconnier on 16.10.17