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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Who should take calcium supplements?

    Can anyone (children and adults) take calcium supplements to improve bone health? Are there any negative consequences in doing so, or only positive?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    It is important to remember that we can get all the nutrients from the food we eat everyday as long as we follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines incorporating the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. 

    I would only suggest my clients take a calcium supplement if they are unable to get enough calcium through their diet. This may include people who have lactose intolerance, milk allergies, strict vegans, those who dislike milk, and those who have undergone bariatric surgery (due to limited stomach space).

    Adults should aim to achieve around 1000mg of calcium per day, children (depending on their age) 1000-1300mg per day. Be sure to check the labels on dairy products and choose those that have 300mg or more calcium per serve. The upper level of intake of calcium is 2500mg for all genders and age groups.

    Toxic effects of too much calcium may result in hypercalcaemia which can lead to renal calcification and renal failure. Most people aren't getting enough calcium in their diets so the risk of developing hypercalcaemia is generally low.

    This is my professional opinion on calcium supplements. I am not saying that you must not take calcium supplements, it is up to you. Hope this helps answer your question. If you would like more advice on how to get more calcium in your diet, I recommend you speak to an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) in your local area. Log onto to find one :)

  • Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Great response Chris, also remember if you have low bone density or are at risk of low bone density you may be recommended to take a calcium supplement. An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can work with your doctor to ensure you are at your healthiest!

  • 1


    Angela Parham


    For many years I taught private music students in schools and in my home studio. I decided to begin a nutrition degree in 2013 having … View Profile

    Hi, I agree with what Chris and Melissa have said. Bone health also requires Vitamin D so that calcium can be properly absorbed. Sunshine on the skin is the best source of Vitamin D. There can be interference in calcium levels in the body through coffee consumption. Coffee can deplete the body’s calcium reserves, making the bones more vulnerable. Several other nutrients, for example magnesium, also help in the building up of bone. I think food is the best option for a perfect level of mineral and vitamin balance that help us achieve optimal health. All the best as you work towards a solution.

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