Calcium and vitamin D are important for healthy bones

Calcium’s role

Calcium is needed by almost every cell in the body to keep it working properly. It also keeps bones strong because it is a major component of bone structure. Bone is a living tissue that is constantly renewing itself, and calcium is an essential part of this process. Calcium is needed every day. Without it, our bones can become weaker and more likely to break.


There are two groups of cells that are involved in maintaining bone structure. The osteoblasts make new bone and osteoclasts remove old bone. For most young people, these cells work together to keep our bones healthy. Unfortunately, these cells become less efficient as we age. The cells don’t work as well as they did when we were younger. Moreover, as we grow older our bodies do not absorb calcium as easily as they used to. It is recommended that we get calcium from food as much as possible. However, statistics show that many people don’t get enough calcium in their diet. These people may need to take a calcium supplement to protect their bones from degradation.

The best way to ensure you consume enough calcium in your diet is to write down how many portions of food containing high amounts of calcium during a 2-week period.

Calcium supplements are available in the form of tablets, capsules or liquids containing the mineral calcium. Taking MCal calcium supplements should be discussed with your doctor. To learn more about how calcium supplements can help, please visit: www.ostoporosis.ca.

Vitamin D’s role

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is also needed to keep bones strong. It does this by helping the body absorb calcium from food and supplements. Vitamin D has other important roles in the body including:

  • Improving the function of muscles
  • Helping nerves to carry messages between the brain to every body part
  • Boosting the immune system to fight off foreign bacteria and viruses

The sun’s rays interact with our skin to produce vitamin D. Because Canada is a northern country, we get less sun exposure, meaning our bodies generally do not produce as much vitamin D as we need. There are very few food sources of vitamin D, so it is recommended that all Canadian adults take a vitamin D supplement all year round. This is the reason why MCal Calcium supplements also contain vitamin D. www.osteoporosis.ca

To get all of the vitamin D you need, you can take a supplement. The type of vitamin D you should get is vitamin D3 (also called cholecalciferol).

Calcium and Vitamin D work together to help protect older adults from osteoporosis. If you do not get enough calcium, then your body will take it from your bones, making them weak and brittle.


People who don’t get enough vitamin D may develop soft, thin and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Recommended Daily Intake for people over 50: Calcium 1200 mg; Vitamin D 800 to 2000 IU*, MCal calcium supplements are among the first to meet these requirements. Available with 400, 800 or 1000 IU of vitamin D.

How much calcium do we need?

How much vitamin D do we need?