Insufficient calcium affects significant portion of the globe

Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

October 18 2017. A review published on October 12, 2017 in Osteoporosis International revealed that populations in many parts of the world do not consume a sufficient amount of calcium, putting them at risk of osteoporosis.

Ethan M. Balk of Brown University and colleagues selected 78 studies that provided data concerning calcium intake from 74 countries. The majority of countries in South, East and Southeast Asian had an average intake of less than 400 mg to 500 mg calcium per day, with the lowest intake in Nepal. Intake in Africa and South America was moderately low at 400 mg to 700 mg daily. The only countries with an average intake of 1,000 mg per day or more were in Northern Europe, however other European countries and the United States had average intakes that were close, at 900 mg to 1,000 mg per day.

"Outside of North America and most of Europe, particularly Northern Europe, there is lower intake than there should be for good bone health," Dr Balk stated. "In many parts of the world, the low average calcium intake may be putting most people at increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis."

The authors noted that Asia-Pacific countries with very low calcium intakes also have less than optimal vitamin D status. “The combination of low calcium intake and low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels is of particular concern because it is known to increase the risk of osteoporosis,” they write. “In older adults, for instance, supplementation with calcium in combination with vitamin D reduces bone loss, reduces the risk of any fracture, and specifically reduces the risk of hip fracture.”

"This work draws attention to regions where calcium intake needs to be assessed and where measures to increase calcium intake are likely to have skeletal benefits," they conclude.

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