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Calcium Vital for Healthy Bone Growth in Teenage Girls
Honolulu HA, 7 March 2002

Daily calcium supplementation can significantly affect the development of optimum bone mass in teenaged girls, according to research presented today at the Fifth International Symposium: Clinical Advances in Osteoporosis.

Researchers measured bone mass in 179 Caucasian girls over a 7-year period beginning when the girls were at least 11 years old and ending at age 18. The girls received 1000 milligrams of calcium citrate malate supplements each day. Current recommended calcium intake for girls aged 9-12 is 1300 milligrams a day. Bone mass measurements, obtained at the beginning of the study and every six months thereafter, showed "a significant positive influence of calcium on bone mineral density of the forearm over time" according to the study.

Findings support need for high calcium intake during adolescence

The principal author of the abstract, Velimir Matkovich, MD, PhD, director of the Bone and Mineral Metabolism Laboratory at Davis Medical Research Center in Columbus, OH, noted that the findings were "preliminary," but that they "strongly support the need for high dietary calcium consumption for growth and promotes the concept of the primary prevention of osteoporosis through high peak bone mass formation."

The importance of calcium and exercise for healthy bone development in young girls was also affirmed by Saralyn Mark, MD, Senior Medical Advisor to the Office of Women's Health. Dr. Mark told attendees, "Only about 10 percent of young girls in the nation get the calcium they need each day. Since about 98 percent of the human skeleton is complete by the age of 20, it is vital that young girls and boys get enough calcium and daily exercise to assure the strongest possible bones."

About The National Osteoporosis Foundation

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) is the leading nonprofit, voluntary health organization dedicated to promoting lifelong bone health in order to reduce the widespread prevalence of osteoporosis and associated fractures, while working to find a cure for the disease through programs of research, education and advocacy.

The Fifth International Symposium: Clinical Advances in Osteoporosis was hosted by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), the Asian-Pacific Osteoporosis Foundation (APOF) and the Sociedad Iberoamericana de Osteologia y Metabolismo Mineral (SIBOMM), and was held March 6-9, 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii.


National Osteoporosis Foundation, via PR Newswire, 7 March 2002.end-of-story


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