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While calcium is an essential element of a healthy diet for people of all ages, it is particularly important for women as they approach menopause, owing to the decrease of bone-protecting oestrogen.

However, most peri- and post menopausal women do not get the necessary vitamin D or calcium in their diets to promote healthy bones.

The North American Menopause Society recently reviewed the role of calcium in these women. The optimal calcium intake for most post menopausal women is 1,200 mg/ day. Vitamin D intake of 30 mg/mL or more is required to achieve the nutritional benefits of calcium. The society emphasises that "average calcium consumption is far below the amount recommended for optimal bone health.” They add that, based on the available evidence, there is strong support for the importance of ensuring adequate calcium intake in all women, particularly those who are peri- or post menopausal.

North American Menopause Society. Role of calcium in peri- and post menopausal women: 2006 position statement of the North American Menopause Society. Menopause, Nov.-Dec. 2006;13(6):862-77.

Are you getting the calcium you need?


While dairy foods tend to contain the highest levels of calcium and are absorbed the best, there are a number of non-dairy options for getting your calcium requirements, such as calcium fortified products (soy milk, breads and cereals), spinach or sardines.

The ‘how to’ of calcium...

For a quick calcium fix, try this recipe at

Apricot and Almond Smoothie
Nutritional Facts - Per serve:
  • 2 cups milk/soy milk
  • 8 apricots
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 1 tbsp wheatgerm
  • 1 tbsp honey

Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Serves 2.

  • Kilojoules 1400
  • Protein 1
  • Fat 12g
  • Carbohydrate 42g
  • Sodium 190mg
  • Potassium 1280mg
  • Calcium 370mg
  • Iron 2.8mg
  • Fibre 9g

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