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What Do Normal Calcium Levels Look Like?

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Wondering what normal calcium levels look like? This article goes over the ideal calcium range and how you can make sure you’re getting enough.

Calcium is an essential mineral that you can’t live without. Your body uses calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth, maintain the movement of blood vessels throughout your body, and to regulate the release of hormones. In addition, calcium helps to regulate the absorption and use of vitamin D, another essential nutrient.

Based on all of these key roles that calcium plays within your body, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most talked-about nutrients in the world of healthcare and a popular ingredient in most adult vitamins.

In addition to being one of the most important minerals for optimal health, calcium is also the most prevalent mineral in your body, and you need more of this nutrient than any other mineral – adults need at least 1000 mg each day.

There’s a lot to know about this essential nutrient, and we’re here to fill you in with all of the need-to-know info about calcium. Keep reading to learn what calcium does, how to get it, and what normal calcium levels look like.

What Is Calcium and What Does It Do?

Calcium plays a key role in supporting several systems within your body, including the cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous systems. The mineral helps your muscles function properly and supports nerve signaling and heart health, too. However, the mineral is best known for its role in bone health.

Calcium and Your Bones

Your body stores calcium in your bones and teeth, with minimal amounts stored in other parts of the body. You can’t produce calcium on your own, which means you need to get it from foods, drinks, and supplements.

You need plenty of calcium to grow and maintain strong bones, a process that continues all through your life. By the time you’re in your 30s, the risk of bone loss due to disorders like osteoporosis becomes higher than ever, which means getting enough calcium in adulthood is especially important to help support your bones through the aging process.

Osteoporosis is a very common health condition that mostly affects older adults. However, certain factors can increase your risk of developing the condition earlier in life. These factors include excessive smoking or drinking, genetics, and even your gender – females are more likely to develop the condition than males.

How Much Calcium Do I Need Each Day?

It’s recommended that adults get at least 1000 mg of calcium per day, along with sufficient amounts of vitamin D, to prevent a deficiency.

Why vitamin D? This nutrient is essential for proper absorption of calcium, and vice versa. Without enough vitamin D, your body won’t be able to adequately use the calcium that it gets from foods and supplements. In the same way, lack of calcium makes it harder for your body to use dietary vitamin D.

With help from calcium-rich foods, people generally do not need a supplement to reach daily needs for the mineral. However, factors like dietary restrictions and preferences can make it tougher to get the calcium that you need from food.

Consult your Provider for additional guidance.

What’s a Healthy Calcium Level?

If you suspect that you might have a calcium deficiency, your doctor may run a blood test to check your blood calcium levels.

Your doctor can use a blood sample to determine whether you have sufficient levels of calcium circulating in your bloodstream, but that’s not the only way to get an accurate assessment of your serum calcium level. Urine tests can also provide an accurate representation of the calcium in your body.

For most adults, normal blood calcium levels are between 8.5 and 10.2 mg/dL.

If something stops you from eating foods like dairy and fortified cereal, a calcium supplement can help you fill in the gaps in your diet — consult with a Provider to see if a supplement may be right for you.

Which Foods Contain Calcium?

The most popular dietary sources of calcium are dairy products. These include milk, yogurt, cheese, and more, all of which contain several hundred milligrams of calcium per serving.

That high calcium content is one of the main health benefits of dairy products. However, milk and other types of dairy are far from the only reliable sources of calcium. In fact, certain foods are even fortified with calcium during production, which dramatically increases their nutritional value.

Fortified foods that often contain high levels of calcium include orange juice, cereal, and even tofu. It’s worth remembering, though, that these foods don’t naturally contain as much calcium as they do in their fortified forms.

What If I Don’t Consume Dairy?

If you don’t eat dairy due to allergies, intolerance, or personal preferences, there are still plenty of other reliable sources of calcium that are completely dairy-free. In addition, calcium-fortified foods aren’t your only non-dairy options, either.

Some of the best dairy-free sources of calcium are:

  • Leafy green vegetables like kale, which contains 53 mg of calcium per cup
  • Edamame, which contains 98 mg of calcium per cup
  • Almonds, which contain 79 mg of calcium per ounce

These foods stand out due to their high calcium levels, but other foods also offer modest amounts of calcium per serving. You don’t need to zero in on these specific foods to get enough calcium in your diet. Other dietary sources of calcium like broccoli, cauliflower, berries, and more all provide smaller amounts, but they still make a difference in the long run.

Do I Need a Calcium Supplement?

It shouldn’t be too difficult to get enough total calcium from dietary sources to meet your daily needs. However, calcium supplements can be helpful when you’re struggling to get enough of this essential nutrient from foods and drinks

If you’re wondering whether you need to take a calcium supplement, you should consult with your Primary Care Provider, who can provide advice based on your medical history, current medications, and any other circumstances specific to you and your health.

That said, food is generally a reliable means of getting enough calcium. However, if you have allergies or intolerances that prohibit you from eating certain calcium-rich foods, a supplement might come in handy to ensure that you don’t end up with low calcium levels. As mentioned before, a blood calcium test can determine whether you are truly calcium deficient or not.

What To Know About Calcium Deficiency

If you’re not getting enough calcium from dietary sources or supplements, you run the risk of developing a deficiency. A calcium deficiency develops over time as the result of consistently getting insufficient amounts of calcium in your diet.

What Are the Symptoms of a Calcium Deficiency?

If you’re calcium-deficient, also referred to as hypocalcemia, noticeable symptoms will present. Since calcium serves so many purposes, your body changes dramatically in the absence of sufficient amounts of the nutrient.

Some common symptoms of calcium deficiency include:

  • Hair and skin problems, including dry skin, changes to your hair’s texture, and red, irritated patches of skin. Some people with calcium deficiencies also report that their skin is frequently itchy.
  • Osteoporosis, a condition that causes your bones to become thin and brittle, making them more susceptible to breaking.
  • Higher risk of tooth decay and cavities due to the fact that a significant amount of calcium is stored in your teeth. In addition, a calcium deficiency can lead to problems with your gums.

How Is Calcium Deficiency Treated?

If you visit your doctor to get treatment for a calcium deficiency, their first recommendation will usually be making changes to your diet and lifestyle. This might mean adding more calcium-rich foods to your diet or taking a daily calcium supplement.

That said, your doctor may also advise to not overdo it on calcium in an effort to reverse your deficiency.

Too much calcium, known as hypercalcemia, can cause its own set of problems, though it’s fairly difficult to take in so much of the mineral that you start dealing with side effects. The best way to avoid excessive calcium intake is to follow your doctor’s recommendations for your calcium supplement and diet, as over-supplementation is a common cause of hypercalcemia.


Your body needs calcium, and you’ll quickly start to notice symptoms if you’re deficient in this important mineral. However, calcium deficiencies aren’t a particularly common problem, and most people are able to maintain healthy calcium levels through their diet.

If you are concerned about a calcium deficiency, talking to your Healthcare Provider is the best way to get peace of mind.

To learn more about living a healthy life and the key vitamins and minerals that are worth knowing about, visit the ivee blog.


Calcium - Consumer | ODS

Calcium Deficiency Signs to Watch Out For | Cleveland Clinic

Calcium blood test | UCSF Health

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