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New study shows calcium significantly improves children's bone health
Date:7/30/2008

Rosemont, Ill July 30, 2008 A recent study published in the journal Bone found that higher intakes of calcium, such as those recommended by the USDA, may significantly improve bone health in children. 1

Researchers used an evidence-based approach to assess data from 21 randomized clinical trials with more than 3,800 children to determine how the intake of dietary calcium affects bone mineral content (BMC), a marker for bone strength, in children. Statistically pooled data revealed that those children who had inadequate calcium consumption prior to the start of these studies experienced a substantial increase in their total body BMC that was approximately 25 times greater than children who already consumed adequate amounts of calcium. Equally important, the study suggests 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 the growth and strengthening of bones in children and adolescents," said Michael Huncharek MD, MPH, Director of the Meta-Analysis Research Group and lead 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 recommendations may help to prevent future osteoporosis."

Currently, a large majority of children and adolescents in the U.S. do not meet the daily recommended calcium intake. According to the USDA, seven out of 10 boys and nine out of 10 girls are not consuming the calcium they need for strong bones. 2,3 Including at least 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods each day as part of a healthy diet, as recom
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Contact: NDC Media Hotline
ndc@dairyinfo.com
312-240-2880
National Dairy Council
Source:Eurekalert

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