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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1996 Mar;211(3):281-6.

Effects of dietary calcium and phosphorus on vitamin D metabolism and calcium absorption in hamster.

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University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, 52242, USA.


We studied the following responses to restriction of dietary calcium and phosphorus in the growing hamster: (i) serum concentrations of calcium, inorganic phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D metabolites; and (ii) calcium transport by ileum. Diets fed were normal calcium with normal or low phosphorus or low calcium with normal or low phosphorus. We found serum 1 alpha,25-dihydroxycalciferol (1,25-[OH]2D) concentration did not differ significantly among the diet groups. Calcium absorption, measured as serosal/mucosal calcium concentration ratio produced by everted ileal sac, was greater in the low calcium, normal phosphorous group than in all other groups. The other groups did not differ from one another in calcium absorption. Feeding the low calcium, normal phosphorus diet increased inorganic phosphorus and magnesium but decreased calcium concentration in serum in comparison with the three other diets. Both low phosphorus diets were without effect on serum calcium, but the low calcium, low phosphorus diet increased serum inorganic phosphorus and magnesium above that of the normal calcium, low phosphorus diet. Ileal calcium absorption in hamster (i) was independent of serum 1,25-(OH)2D concentration; (ii) increased in response to low dietary calcium if dietary phosphorus was normal; and (iii) was independent of dietary calcium, if dietary phosphorus was low. Despite increased calcium absorption, serum calcium was decreased in the low calcium-normal phosphorus group as compared with all other groups. Feeding low calcium diets increased serum inorganic phosphorus and magnesium as compared with feeding the corresponding normal calcium diets (i.e., independently of whether dietary phosphorus content was normal or low). These studies demonstrate that the interrelationships between calcium absorption and vitamin D and mineral metabolism in hamster differ from other mammals.

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