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Calcium Counter Makes It Easy to Calculate Daily Intake
San Antonio TX, 13 May 2002

Calcium counter measures intake with nine simple questions

Are you getting enough calcium? Six out of ten women who think they get enough calcium actually do not meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), according to the US Department of Agriculture. Even if you take a supplement you may not know how much calcium you're getting or how much you need.

Mission Pharmacal created an interactive Calcium Counter, which is available on their website (www.citracal.com/). Easy-to-use, the calcium counter helps you estimate your average daily calcium intake in less than two minutes by asking nine basic questions about your diet and supplement use.

"Most calcium calculators are quite complicated and time consuming to use," says Dr. Miriam Nelson, university professor and author of the Strong Women series of books. "This counter provides a convenient and interactive snapshot of individual calcium intake."

The importance of getting enough calcium from diet and supplements will only become more important as the nation ages. Osteoporosis, which means porous bones, is a preventable chronic disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break, typically in the hip, spine, and wrist. If not prevented or left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. Broken bones often require hospitalization and major surgery leading to prolonged or permanent disability or even death. Osteoporotic fractures cost the healthcare system $17 billion (2001 dollars) annually.

"Bone loss starts affecting women as early as 30 years of age and in some extreme cases, younger than 20," says Nelson. "Women assume they have enough calcium without monitoring themselves. Knowing your daily calcium intake is an important first step in the fight against osteoporosis. An excellent regimen to help prevent osteoporosis consists of a healthy diet, strength-training exercises and taking a calcium citrate supplement daily to ensure optimal calcium intake."

While women are most affected by osteoporosis, calcium is also important for men as they age. The Calcium Counter is not gender-specific. It evaluates calcium intake and offers tips for men and women of all ages.

In spite of decades of awareness raising, research, including new findings from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), reveals a continuing trend of low calcium intake leading to low bone mass and osteoporosis.

The USDA found that among women who claimed enough calcium in their diet, only 39 percent met the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). The news was worse for girls age 12 to 19 in the United States as only 13.5 percent got the RDA of calcium. Now, according to a new report by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis and low bone mass is growing in prevalence, affecting almost 44 million Americans (55% of people aged 50 and older). That number may grow to 52 million by the year 2010 and over 61 million by 2020.

"It's always important to talk to your healthcare professional about your individual calcium needs," states Dr. Nelson. "Consult your doctor about obtaining a bone mineral density test which measures bone mass. The results of a bone mineral density test will help your physician assess your bone health and prescribe the best course of prevention or treatment."

Mission Pharmacal, the makers of Citracal®, is a family-owned pharmaceutical company based in San Antonio, TX. Currently, Mission Pharmacal provides pharmaceutical, nutritional and diagnostic products.


Mission Pharmacal, via PR Newswire.end-of-story




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