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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Nov;66(5):1172-7.

Calcium and magnesium balance in 9-14-y-old children.

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US Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service Children's Nutrition Research Center, Houston, TX 77030-2600, USA.


Few data are available regarding calcium and magnesium absorption and endogenous fecal excretion in children. We used a multitracer stable isotope technique to assess calcium and magnesium balance in 12 boys and 13 girls aged 9-14 y (mean weight: 42 kg) maintained on relatively high calcium intakes (mean: 1310 +/- 82 mg/d). There were no significant differences in absorption of calcium or magnesium from milk between boys and girls. Calcium retention (balance) correlated positively with calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) concentration (r = 0.48, P = 0.02) and serum alkaline phosphatase activity (r = 0.44, P = 0.03). There was no significant relation between magnesium balance and concentration. When data from this study were combined with our previously reported data, an increase in total calcium absorption was seen for pubertal (Tanner stages 2-4) but not prepubertal (Tanner stage 1) white children over the range of intakes from approximately 750 to 1350 mg/d. Despite intakes similar to the 1989 recommended dietary allowance for magnesium (mean intake: 6.4 +/- 1.2, 11 of the 25 subjects (6 girls and 5 boys) were in negative magnesium balance. We conclude that benefits from higher calcium intakes, < or = 1350 mg/d, were most apparent in pubertal children. In addiction, higher magnesium intakes should be considered for children.

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