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Pediatr Res. 1991 Jun;29(6):615-8.

Dual tracer stable isotopic assessment of calcium absorption and endogenous fecal excretion in low birth weight infants.

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Laboratory of Theoretical and Physical Biology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Using a dual tracer (44Ca orally and 46Ca i.v.) stable isotope technique, true dietary Ca absorption, endogenous fecal Ca excretion, and net Ca retention were measured in 12 low birth weight (1426 +/- 260 g) infants fed a high Ca-containing formula. Endogenous fecal Ca excretion averaged 7.2 +/- 4.1% of intake, and exceeded 10% of intake in three infants. Net Ca retention, 103 +/- 38 mg/kg/d, was consistent with previous studies of Ca retention obtained using mass balance techniques and correlated closely (r = 0.98, p less than 0.001) with true Ca absorption but not with endogenous fecal excretion (r = -0.40, p = 0.19). Although endogenous fecal excretion may represent a significant source of Ca loss for some low birth weight infants, these data suggest that net Ca retention in low birth weight infants fed a high Ca-containing formula is primarily determined by the total dietary Ca absorbed.

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