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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(3):441-5.

Calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium intakes in Japanese children aged 3 to 5 years.

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Department of Preventive Dentistry and Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry, Aichi-Gakuin University, Japan.


The present study aimed to evaluate in preschool children the intakes of Ca, Mg that possibly affect health and tooth formation and the intakes of K and Na that may affect lifestyle-related diseases. Information on dietary intake was collected from 90 preschool children (15 boys and 15 girls each in the 3-, 4- and 5-year old groups) on 3 separate days in the school fiscal year 1999 (April 1999 to March 2000) by the duplicate-diet technique. The Ca, Mg, K, and Na concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry using wet-ashed samples. The medians of mean daily intakes of Ca, Mg, K and Na in 3- to 5-year-old children were 432 mg, 110 mg, 1.18 g and 1.60 g, respectively, and no significant differences with regard to gender were observed. Seasonal varia-tion of intake was seen for each mineral. Calcium intake in most preschool children did not meet adequate intake (AI), probably due to low intakes of milk and dairy products in Japan. Magnesium intake was below the estimated average requirement (EAR) in 13.3% of the subjects, while the K intake met the AI. Sodium intake in a quarter of preschool children exceeded the tentative dietary goal. We concluded that in Japanese children aged 3-5 years; Ca intake is low, Na intake is high, and K intake is adequate, but some children could be at risk for Mg deficiency.

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