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Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Nov;52(5):878-88.

Factors that influence peak bone mass formation: a study of calcium balance and the inheritance of bone mass in adolescent females.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


We suggested that calcium may be an important determinant of peak bone mass. For further elucidation, calcium balances in adolescent females with different calcium intakes (270-1637 mg/d), and a 2-y intervention study of calcium supplementation were performed. Hereditary influences on bone status were also evaluated by comparing subjects' and parents' bone mass. The main determinant of calcium balance was calcium intake; net calcium absorption increased with intake and urinary calcium did not change. Adolescent females retained 200-500 mg Ca/d, suggesting that inadequate calcium intake may translate into inadequate calcium retention and a reduction in peak bone mass. There was a more pronounced increase in bone mass over time in the calcium-supplemented group (1640 mg Ca/d) than in the control group (750 mg Ca/d), but the differences between bone mass measurements were not statistically significant, possibly because of a type II error. By the age of 16 y daughters had accumulated 90-97% of the bone mass of their premenopausal mothers.

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