Calcium & Vitamin D

Calcium & Vitamin D

Although calcium and Vitamin D are dietary necessities, many adults often forget that they are essential and that a deficiency in either can result in serious consequences. Due to absorption and utilization differences, pregnant or lactating women and women after menopause require more calcium and Vitamin D in their diet.

The National Research Council recommends 800 milligrams of calcium daily as a minimum. Young women should consume about 1000 to 1400 milligrams a day, and postmenopausal, pregnant, or lactating women should have 1500 to 1800 milligrams daily. The recommendation for Vitamin D is 600 I.U. daily. However, a recent study has linked increased risks of preeclampsia with suboptimal Vitamin D levels. For pregnant women, a daily intake of 1,000 I.U. of Vitamin D may help decrease their risks of acquiring preeclampsia.

Diet is the prime source of calcium. An eight-ounce glass of skim milk has 296 milligrams of calcium and 100 I.U. of Vitamin D but only 85 calories. Like whole milk, skim milk is fortified with vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption. With adequate dietary calcium, supplementation with calcium tablets is not necessary. However, many women do not receive adequate dietary calcium.

The best absorbed calcium is Calcium Citrate, and the next best absorbed is Calcium Carbonate.


Trade name:  CITRICAL + D – 350 mg. Calcium / 400 I.U. Vitamin D


Trade name:  TUMS – 200 mg.

CALTRATE 600 – 600 mg.

BIOCAL – 500 mg.

VITAMIN D can be purchased over the counter and taken in addition to your prenatal vitamins to total 1,000 I.U. daily. Different prenatal vitamins contain different amounts of Vitamin D, so check to see how much Vitamin D is contained in your prenatal vitamins.