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Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Nov;60(5):744-50.

Double-blind, controlled calcium supplementation and bone mineral accretion in children accustomed to a low-calcium diet.

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Department of Paediatrics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin.


A randomized, double-blind, controlled calcium supplementation trial was conducted for 18 mo to determine its effects on bone acquisition and height increment in 162 7-y-old Chinese children (87 boys and 75 girls) with habitually low calcium intakes (280 mg/d). Distal one-third radial bone mineral content (BMC), area bone density (BMC/bone width), and height were evaluated every 6 mo. Baseline dietary intakes, serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, and physical activity were determined. The study group received 300 mg Ca/d as calcium carbonate; control subjects received placebo tablets. After 18 mo the study group had significantly greater gains in BMC (16.5% vs 13.97%; P = 0.02) and BMC/bone width (9.45% vs 6.31%; P = 0.0008) than the control subjects. The findings confirm a positive effect of calcium intake on bone acquisition but no effect on height increment. Whether a higher bone mass attained at age 8-9 y would be maintained and beneficial to future peak bone mass requires longitudinal investigation. Further study is warranted to determine calcium requirements for Chinese children.

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