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Comparative Study
. 1998 Sep;128(9):1474-80.
doi: 10.1093/jn/128.9.1474.

Development and Regulation of Calcium Metabolism in Healthy Girls

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Comparative Study

Development and Regulation of Calcium Metabolism in Healthy Girls

F Bronner et al. J Nutr. .

Abstract

The major components of calcium metabolism, as evaluated by a dual-tracer stable isotope method, were determined in 100 studies of 68 healthy girls, aged 5-18 y and analyzed from a developmental and regulatory viewpoint. Bone calcium deposition and removal rates were closely correlated with the size of the exchangeable bone calcium compartment. All three quantities, as well as intestinal calcium absorption, peaked at or near menarche. Both bone calcium deposition and removal rates were positively and linearly correlated with calcium absorption. However, in this correlation, because bone calcium deposition increased 70% faster than calcium absorption, most of the increase in the bone calcium compartment and its turnover must have occurred in response to something other than intestinal calcium input; presumably this occurred in response to developmental signals. Nevertheless, the constancy of the serum calcium in the face of a large intestinal calcium input and the modest way in which excretion overcame the calcium load in this population point to the importance of the exchangeable bone calcium compartment, in dynamic equilibrium with the bone mineral, as the site at which most of the load is taken up. In this population of girls, as in older women, this increase in the skeletal calcium balance resulted from a decrease in the bone calcium removal rate that was greater than the corresponding increase in the bone calcium deposition rate.

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