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Calcium and Vitamin D


Getting enough calcium can be difficult when you have PD as many patients with PD find dairy foods are more likely than other protein foods to inhibit levodopa absorption. Here are some recommendations that will help you meet your calcium requirements:

  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Calcium-fortified-rice and soy milk alternatives for use on cereal, smoothies, and in many cooked dishes.
  • Breakfast cereals and other foods fortified with calcium.
  • You might also consider taking a calcium supplement—calcium citrate is often a better choice.
  • Chewable calcium tablets are better absorbed, because they are already broken down when they reach the stomach.

The current recommendation for vitamin D is 400 IUs for people age fifty or older; and 600 IUs daily for those over the age of 70.

Vitamin D

  • Without adequate amounts of vitamin D calcium can’t be absorbed by the body.
  • If you live in a sunny area, vitamin D is easy to get through about one hour per week outdoors in the sunshine with the face, hands, and arms exposed.
  • Because vitamin D is stored, our bodies can conserve enough D during the summer to last us through the winter.

If you do not live in a sunny area or you mostly stay indoors here’s what you can do by tapping into foods rich in vitamin D to get the amount you need:

Food Sources of Vitamin D

  • Fortified foods such as milk and milk substitutes, milk products, margarine and cereals.
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon and fish liver oils.
  • Liver
  • Eggs

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