Calcium improves children’s bone health significantly

July 31st, 2008 - 1:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 31 (IANS) A higher calcium intake may significantly improve bone health in children, a recent study has confirmed. Researchers relied on results of 21 randomised clinical trials with more than 3,800 children to determine how the intake of dietary calcium affects bone mineral content (BMC) in children.

Data revealed that those children who had inadequate calcium consumption prior to these studies experienced an increase in their total body BMC 25 times greater than children who already consumed adequate amounts of calcium.

Equally important, the study suggested the existence of a calcium threshold for bone health - that is, the level of calcium intake that triggers a significant effect.

“Dairy and other foods that are rich in calcium are thought to be important for growth and strengthening of bones in children and adolescents,” said Michael Huncharek, director of the Meta-Analysis Research Group and co-author of the study.

“In the US, dairy products tend to be the preferred source of calcium since diets that exclude dairy are often deficient in this important nutrient.”

The new findings show that for those children who have inadequate calcium intake, increasing dietary calcium has a significant impact on bone development.

“Since most children don’t get enough calcium, meeting calcium requirements may help to prevent future osteoporosis,” Huncharek added.

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