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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Mar;51(3):195-209. doi: 10.1080/10408390903502872.

Calcium nutrition in adolescence.

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Unidad de Nutrición, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Armilla, Granada, Spain.


Adolescence is an important period of nutritional vulnerability due to increased dietary requirements for growth and development and special dietary habits. Calcium needs are elevated as a result of the intensive bone and muscular development and thus adequate calcium intake during growth is extremely important to reach the optimum peak bone mass and to protect against osteoporosis in the adult age, a major public health threat whose incidence is increasing in Western countries. However, most children and adolescents worldwide fail to achieve the recommended calcium intake. The hormonal changes associated with the pubertal period promote greater mineral utilization, which needs to be satisfied with suitable calcium consumption. Diet, therefore, must contribute nutrients in sufficient quality and quantity to allow maximum bone mass development. Consequently, adolescents should be educated and encouraged to consume adjusted and balanced diets that, together with healthy lifestyles, enable optimal calcium utilization.

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