Q: Can I get the calcium I need from nondairy food sources?
A: Calcium and vitamin D are essential for healthy bones and other functions in the body. Your muscles, nerves and blood vessels all need calcium. The recommended daily intake of calcium increases with age because calcium absorption decreases with age. In addition, women experience accelerated bone loss after menopause. Women ages 51 and older and men ages 71 and older should consume 1,200 mg of calcium a day, as opposed to the 1,000 mg a day for women ages 19 to 50 and men ages 19 to 70.