Calcium

Maintaining a healthy, balanced and calcium rich gluten free diet is important to help keep your bones healthy and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

People with coeliac disease may have an increased need for calcium compared to the general adult population. Download our fact sheet for more information about calcium. 

Recommended intake

Adults with coeliac disease should have at least 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. The recommended amount for the general population is 700mg.

Per Serving Portion Size Calcium
Semi skimmed milk 200ml 244mg
Calcium enriched Soya milk  200ml 240mg
Tinned sardines with bones 1/2 can, drained (42g) 230mg
Cheddar cheese 30g 220mg
Pot of Yoghurt* 125g 170mg
Kale
3 tablespoons (80g)
120mg
Baked beans*
1/2 tin
105mg
Kidney beans
120g
85mg
Almonds
30g
70mg
Broccoli
80g
32mg
Dried apricots
30g
30mg

Vitamin D

Your body needs vitamin D to absorb enough calcium.

Vitamin D is made by the skin from spending time in the sun. In the UK, people will get more vitamin D from sunlight between March and September but will have difficulty getting enough in the winter months. Good food sources of vitamin D are oily fish, eggs, margarine and fortified breakfast cereals.

Public Health England and the Scottish Government provide advice on vitamin D intakes, based on recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition saying:

Everyone in the general population aged 4 years and older should get 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. In the winter months it's worth considering a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

Supplements

If you can’t get all the calcium you need from your diet and your calcium levels are low, you may need to take a calcium supplement. Some are combined with vitamin D.

If you feel you may need supplements, speak to your doctor or dietitian who will provide further advice and prescribe them if necessary.

Your consultant will be able to advise if you require medication in order to lower the risk of bones breaking in the future. Bisphosphonates are most commonly used to treat osteoporosis – these drugs slow down the rate of bone loss. However, depending on individual circumstances, other drug treatments may be needed.

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