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Recommended calcium intakes in children : have we set the bar too high?


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Winzenberg, TM and Jones, G 2008 , 'Recommended calcium intakes in children : have we set the bar too high?' , IBMS BoneKEy, vol. 5, no. Februa , pp. 59-68 , doi: 10.1138/20080299.

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Increasing peak bone mass in childhood has the potential to reduce the impact of age-related bone loss,
so identifying ways to improve childhood bone acquisition is important. Research into nutritional factors
influencing childhood bone acquisition to date has focused on the role of calcium. Evidence from calcium
balance studies supports the setting of recommended calcium intakes up to 800 mg/day for children and up
to 1300 mg/day for adolescents. However, recent evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled
trials of calcium supplements in children suggests that increasing calcium intake to levels approaching
recommended levels has only limited benefits for improving bone acquisition. Focusing on achieving high
levels of calcium intake risks neglecting other potential lifestyle factors that could have greater benefits and
possibly less potential for long-term adverse effects. While calcium remains important for skeletal health, it
may be that high levels of recommended calcium intake are both unnecessary and unrealistic targets. The
resources used to encourage and enable otherwise healthy individuals to meet these high levels may be
better used in promoting other aspects of a healthy lifestyle for bone development and in researching
alternative nutritional interventions to improve bone health. IBMS BoneKEy. 2008 February;5(2):59-68.
©2008 International Bone & Mineral Society

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Winzenberg, TM and Jones, G
Keywords: Bone; Calcium; Children; Diet; Nutrition
Journal or Publication Title: IBMS BoneKEy
ISSN: 1940-8692
DOI / ID Number: 10.1138/20080299
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