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Dietary Calcium and Children

An evaluation of 58 studies using children and young adults (ages 1-25 years) and dietary calcium intakes was conducted and reviewed. Eleven of these studies did not control for weight, puberty and exercise. These studies were excluded. Ten of the studies were randomly controlled trials, using calcium supplements, of which nine showed positive bone mineralizations. Twenty-seven studies found no relationship between dairy and dietary calcium intake and bone health. Nine studies regarding the effects on bone health were small. Three studies experienced problems with Vitamin D intake from fortified milk.

Overall, 9 out of 10 studies using calcium supplements showed positive bone mineralizations. Nine out of 26 studies, using dairy and dietary calcium intake, showed small effects on bone health.

The scientists concluded, "Scant evidence supports nutrition guidelines focused specifically on increasing milk or other dairy product intake for promoting child and adolescent bone mineralization."

Pediatrics. 2005, Mar; 115(3):792-4.

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