Nutrition has an important role in calcium metabolism, and an appropriate dietary regimen should be an integral part of any preventive or therapeutic interventions for disorders of mineral metabolism. Studies performed during the past year have strengthened the importance of a good dietary intake of calcium during adolescence in order to maximize bone mass. Accordingly, recommendations have been given for higher daily calcium intake for adolescents and breastfeeding women, as well as for elderly populations. The potential interference of some widely used food additives and fiber-containing products with intestinal calcium absorption and the interaction between calcium and other cations, namely iron and magnesium, in the intestine have been examined. The notion that lactase deficiency is detrimental to bone health has been greatly redefined by new studies, whereas an increasingly important physiologic role of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol is emerging from long-term longitudinal and metabolic investigations. Conversely, despite some new comforting data, the therapeutic potential of hormonal regulators of calcium homeostasis, namely growth hormone, insulin-like growth factors, and parathyroid hormone-related peptide, remains uncertain. Finally, the type of calcium supplements and their dosing in relation to food intake and the presence of gastrointestinal disorders have been reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


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