zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Relationship Between Vitamin D & Calcium

by
author image Jen Morel
Jen Morel has worked in the newspaper industry since 2007. An experienced backpacker, she is a contributor to "AMC Outdoors" and other hiking/environmental magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science and philosophy.
Relationship Between Vitamin D & Calcium
Milk is a source of calcium, but you'll need vitamin D to help absorb it. Photo Credit View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images

Calcium is a nutrient needed for strong bones, but your body cannot absorb it properly without the help of vitamin D. The combination of calcium and vitamin D helps strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. If your lifestyle and diet do not provide the recommended daily intake of these nutrients, supplements may be necessary.

Sources

Sunlight and foods such as oily fish and nuts are sources of vitamin D. Calcium can be found in foods, including milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli and spinach. For those who don't get enough vitamin D and calcium through a combination of sunlight and diet, many supplements offer both in one pill.

Calcitriol

Calcium cannot be absorbed properly without the presence of vitamin D. Vitamin D enables the formation of calcitriol, a hormone that regulates levels of calcium in the body and bone growth. Calcitriol facilitates the absorption of calcium from the intestines. It also decreases the rate at which calcium is excreted in urine, thus helping raise calcium levels in the body.

Risks

Without vitamin D, consuming the FDA recommended amount of calcium will not ensure that the body is getting enough calcium. Only through the combination of vitamin D and calcium will the body be able to use calcium properly and stimulate bone growth. Without sufficient calcium absorption, the body begins to deplete the calcium in the skeleton, weakening bones and putting you at greater risk for osteoporosis.

Considerations

Although many supplements offer calcium and vitamin D together in the same pill, it's best to get your daily dosage of vitamin D from sunlight and your calcium from calcium-rich foods. If you're worried that you're not getting enough calcium from your diet, speak to a nutritionist or your doctor about your options.

Excess

An inadequate intake of vitamin D may also lead to a calcium deficiency, but excessive vitamin D intake may lead to calcium overload, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Excess calcium can build up in tissues and vascular system which may lead to heart and kidney damage. Vitamin D overload is a result of taking too many supplements; not from too much vitamin D from the sun.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.