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J Med Assoc Thai. 2008 Feb;91(2):153-8.

Dietary calcium intake among rural Thais in Northeastern Thailand.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.



The present study examined the amount and relative contribution of calcium from the habitual diet among rural Thais.


Calcium intake was assessed using 3-day food records and interviewer-administered quantitative food-frequency questionnaire, containing 73 food items.


The authors recruited 436 healthy participants (181 men and 255 women), between 20 and 85 years of age. Averaged daily calcium intake among men and women were 378.6 and 265.6 mg, respectively. Sixty-seven percent of men and eighty seven percent of women had less dietary calcium intake than half of the recommended level (< 400 mg/day) whereas only 6 and 3% had an intake more than 800 mg/day. The major food sources of dietary calcium was glutinous rice (32 percent) followed by small animals with edible bones (31 percent) and fresh and fermented fish (20 percent). Dairy products and vegetables constituted only 8 and 5% of dietary calcium, respectively.


The habitual diet among rural Northeast Thais does not meet the recommended calcium intake level. To promote more consumption of dairy products and locally-available calcium-rich foods would be beneficial to prevent osteoporosis among this population.

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