Dividing the daily dose of calcium into two or three servings and taking them with meals is recommended to maximize absorption. Calcium supplements that include vitamin D, which is essential for the body to absorb calcium, are highly beneficial, according to WebMD.
Calcium carbonate is recommended because it is inexpensive and does not cause discomfort in most individuals, notes WebMD. A calcium citrate supplement, which dissolves better than calcium
carbonate, is recommended for individuals who have low stomach acid or who are taking medications that suppress acid production. The best sources of dietary calcium include cheeses, nonfat milk products and yogurt. Dark green vegetables, such as spinach, are also high in calcium.
The maximum amount of calcium that the body can absorb at one time is about 500 milligrams, explains WebMD. Recommended daily amounts of calcium range from 700 milligrams to 1,300 milligrams, depending upon age and gender. The recommendation for girls ages 9 to 18 years old is 1,300 milligrams a day. Sufficient calcium intake is required in childhood and adolescence because bone mass peaks around age 30. Healthy intake of calcium in early life helps prevent the bone loss that occurs after age 30 and accelerates at the time of menopause.