Association between dietary calcium and phosphorus intakes, dietary calcium/phosphorus ratio and bone mass in the Korean population

Nutr J. 2014 Dec 13;13(1):114. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-114.


Background: Osteoporosis has become a major public health issue. Among various factors affected bone health, not only dietary calcium and phosphorus intakes, but also the dietary calcium/phosphorus ratio could relate to bone health. Therefore, we evaluated whether dietary calcium and phosphorus intakes, and dietary calcium/phosphorus ratio are associated with bone mass in Korean adults ≥ 20 years of age.

Methods: The analysis used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a cross-sectional survey of Korean civilians, conducted from January to December 2010. A total of 4,935 participants (2,309 men and 2,626 women) were analyzed in this study. Dietary calcium and phosphorus intakes of the participants were estimated using 24-h dietary recall. Bone mass densities for the whole body, femoral neck, and lumbar spine were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results: Dietary calcium intake and dietary calcium/phosphorus ratio were positively related to bone mass density for femoral neck in men ≥ 50 years of age (p = 0.046 and 0.041, respectively). Dietary calcium intake showed positive associations with bone mass density for whole body in premenopausal women (p = 0.022).

Conclusions: Increased calcium intake and high dietary calcium/phosphorus ratio might have favorable effects on bone mass in Korean adults. Additional gender- and age-specific studies are needed to further identify the influence of calcium and phosphorus intakes, and the dietary calcium/phosphorus ratio on bone mass.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bone Density*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Femur Neck
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Male
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Premenopause
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sex Factors


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Phosphorus, Dietary