Navigation Links
Calcium in early life may prevent obesity later

There's no denying that people need calcium for strong, healthy bones. But new research from North Carolina State University suggests that not getting enough calcium in the earliest days of life could have a more profound, lifelong impact on bone health and perhaps even obesity than previously thought.

During an 18-day trial involving 24 newborn pigs, the researchers documented markedly lower levels of bone density and strength in 12 piglets fed a calcium-deficient diet compared to 12 piglets that received more calcium. Not only that, but when researchers looked at certain stem cells in bone marrow, they found that many of these cells in the calcium-deficient piglets appeared to have already been programmed to become fat cells instead of bone-forming cells.

Because these programmed mesenchymal stem cells replicate to provide all the bone-forming cells for an animal's entire life, very early calcium deficiency may have predisposed the piglets to have bones that contain more fat and less mineral. That could make those pigs more prone to osteoporosis and obesity in later life, said Dr. Chad Stahl, an associate professor of animal science who led the study.

In a longer-term study that Stahl plans to begin this month, the researchers will look at whether that's the case: By conducting a longer feeding trial, the scientists will be able to see if the changes persist through sexual maturity, which occurs for pigs at around eight months of age.

The researchers are using pigs as a model for human health because pigs and humans are similar when it comes to bone growth and nutrition. Pigs are one of the few animals known to experience bone breaks related to osteoporosis, Stahl said.

One of the most surprising findings of the 18-day feeding study was that while the calcium-deficient pigs had substantially lower bone strength and density, blood tests didn't indicate any difference in levels of the hormonal form of vitamin D, which regulates the amount of calcium circulating in the blood of older children and adults. Stahl said this suggests that calcium regulation in newborns isn't dependent on vitamin D.

Stahl thinks the research is relevant to the infant food industry and suggests the significance of the nutritional status of breastfeeding mothers. It also points to a need for greater emphasis in very early life on bone health, not just during those times when children are growing most rapidly.

"While the importance of calcium nutrition throughout childhood and adolescence is well-recognized, our work suggests that calcium nutrition of the neonate may be of greater importance to lifelong bone health, due to its programming effects on mesenchymal stem cells," Stahl reported at the recent Experimental Biology 2010 meeting in Anaheim. "It also points to a potential paradigm shift in which health professionals might want to begin thinking about osteoporosis not so much as a disease of the elderly, but instead as a pediatric disease with later onset.

"For me," Stahl said, "the biggest message is that calcium nutrition, or mineral nutrition as a whole, needs to be a priority from day one. Early life nutrition is setting children up physiologically for the rest of their lives."


Contact: Dr. Chad Stahl
North Carolina State University

Related medicine news :

1. Calcium Scan Improves Heart Risk Prediction
2. SumNuts Vitamin Nuts Launched, Enhanced with Vitamin D3 and Calcium
3. Report: AdvaCALCalcium Builds Bone Best
4. AlgaeCal Inc is Pleased to Announce The First Ever Certified Organic Calcium: Algas Calcareas
5. Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
6. A role for calcium in taste perception
7. Infectious diseases caused two-thirds of the nearly 9 million child deaths globally in 2008
8. JCI online early table of contents: May 17, 2010
9. Medical costs of cancer have nearly doubled over the past 2 decades
10. Whole body MRI is highly accurate in the early detection of breast cancer metastases
11. Effects of TV, Drug Exposures in Early Life May Be Long-Lasting
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people ... how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, ... editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts ... applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention ... health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice ... States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm ... Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has ... of the current process. Many of them do not even ... technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ... it at such a high cost that the majority of ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... up to date financial data derived from varied research sources ... with potential impact on the market during the next five ... comprises of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 , , ... July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & ... Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: