Calcium Check: Are You Getting It?

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Make sure you're getting enough calcium. Of all the minerals the body absorbs, you're most likely to come up short in your supply of calcium. Unfortunately, this mineral is essential as far as strengthening bones, helping muscles contract and regulating contractions of the heart. Most surprisingly, calcium plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight. The recommended daily calcium intake is 1,200 milligrams a day for most adults. Pregnant women and adolescents need about 1,500 milligrams, and kids need at least 800 milligrams. Get your daily dose of calcium through food or supplements, which are best absorbed when taken in small doses frequently. Vitamin C increases calcium absorption, so wash down your supplements with a glass of orange juice.