Sources of Calcium

Nutritionist Maria Pari-Keener, MS, RD, answers the question, Can fortified orange juice provide enough calcium?

Question

I'm lactose intolerant, so I've been drinking calcium-enriched orange juice instead of milk during my pregnancy. Is the juice a sufficient calcium substitute for dairy products like milk and cheese?

Answer

A glass of calcium-fortified orange juice contains the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk and can help lactose-intolerant people get their daily requirement of 1000 mg of calcium. However, I would suggest that lactose intolerant people use a lactase supplement, such as Lactaid, with dairy foods. Dairy foods have nutrients not found in orange juice, such as vitamin D (fortified milk), B vitamins, and protein. Yogurt and hard cheese are good sources of calcium but don't contain a lot of lactose, so they shouldn't be a problem for lactose-intolerant people. A varied diet is best for getting all the nutrients you need, especially during pregnancy.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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