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High Dairy Calcium Intake in Pubertal Girls: Relation to Weight Gain and Bone Mineral Status

Keywords: Bone mineral , calcium intake , dairy

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Abstract:

As the deficient calcium intake, especially during period of rapid skeletal growth, may exaggerate osteoporosis, we aimed to study impact of calcium-rich diets mainly from dairy products in healthy adolescent females on Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and Bone Mineral Content (BMC) and to check for any relation to body weight gain. In a community-based controlled study, 73 healthy females were enrolled whose mean age 11.5 years and sexual maturation almost at Tanner II. Over a period of 24 months, one group (milk group, n = 44) was supplemented with dairy food products to a daily allowance of 1600 mg calcium and the second group (control group, n = 29) was given the usual diets (daily calcium content 800 mg). Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat and lean, BMD and BMC using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry as well as some serological markers of bone-calcium metabolism were measured at start of study then 6 monthly. Milk group showed statistically significant increases in BMD and BMC in the last 3 estimates compared to control (p = 0.04, 0.02, 0.03 for BMD and 0.04, 0.01, 0.02 for BMC, respectively). However, neither anthropometric measures nor serological parameters showed any marked difference in the studied groups whether at start or in any subsequent estimate. Teenage girls whose dietary calcium intake at or above recommended daily allowance had an increased rate of bone mineralization especially when started during pubertal growth spurt without any significant increase in body fat or weight gain.

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