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Study suggests a much earlier onset for bone problems
Date:4/25/2010

We all know that eating a calcium-rich diet is important for keeping our bones healthy and strong. This concept is clearly on display in any elementary school cafeteria where the walls are decorated with colorful posters with celebrity icons encouraging children to make sure they drink milk every day. However, emerging research suggests that urging school-aged children to pay attention to their dairy intake might actually be too late to optimize their bone health. Indeed, the idea that long-term bone health may be "programmed" or established during infancy or even earlier is gaining significant scientific support as nutrition researchers continue to study the genesis of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis.

In a presentation concerning early nutritional programming and long-term skeletal health to be presented on April 27 at the Experimental Biology 2010 meeting in Anaheim, researchers from North Carolina State University and the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine will present evidence that very early calcium nutrition may have more impact than we previously thought. This presentation is part of the scientific program of the American Society for Nutrition, home of the world's leading nutrition researchers.

The research is led by Dr. Chad Stahl, an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University, who studies the nutritional regulation of growth and development and utilizes the neonatal pig as a surrogate for the human infant. Stahl and his colleagues have a long-standing interest in understanding how much calcium babies need in order to optimize bone density and strength when they get older. Not only is this a worthy academic question, but it has special relevance to the infant food industry which currently fortifies most baby formulas with calcium at levels substantially above those found in breastmilk considered the "gold standard" for infant nutrition. This differential level of
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Contact: Suzanne Price
media@faseb.org
714-765-2012
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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