What is calcium?

Calcium is an essential nutrient for strong bones and healthy teeth but is equally vital as a regulator in most of our body tissues, helping nerves and muscles to work properly.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and nearly all of it (99%) is in the bones, teeth, soft tissues and blood. It accounts for about 2% of body weight.

Calcium in Bread

By law white and brown flour are fortified with calcium therefore white or brown breads are preferable to wholemeal for people whose calcium intake may be inadequate.

Amount of Calcium in Bread

Type Of Bread Calcium Amounts
White 177 mg per 100g
Brown 185 mg per 100g
Wholemeal 106 mg per 100g

Source: McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods 6th Summary Edition (2002)

Four medium slices of white bread per day would provide more than 30% of the RDA for calcium.

How much calcium do we need?

All calcium required for bones and teeth comes from our diet. Milk and milk products are the major source in the British diet. White and brown bread (by law fortified with calcium), cereal products, vegetables and hard water also provide significant amounts. A healthy balanced diet should provide all the calcium we need.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium is 800 mg. but older people may require more.

For more information please download our Factsheet No. 10 – Calcium.