Health and Human Development - Low calcium intake
Low calcium intake
Many factors interfere with calcium absorption, which reduces the amount
of calcium absorbed from the food consumed. Factors include a high protein
intake, phytates and oxalates present in some cereals and vegetables and a
reduction in stomach acids. Factors that promote calcium absorption are the
presence of Vitamin D and lactose, the secretion of certain hormones, the
presence of phosphorus and the ingestion of calcium with a meal that
improves stomach acid.
May prevent growth potential being reached in children and early
adolescents. Bone density  will be low. This could increase the chance
of developing osteoporosis in later life.
Osteoporosis literally means porous bones. During the ageing process, more
calcium leaves the bones than is taken up by the bones so the bone tissue
becomes weaker. Dense bones will contain more calcium and will take longer
to weaken. Weak bones are more susceptible to fractures. The incidence of
osteoporosis is greater in females than males, as females lose more calcium
at menopause when oestrogen production ceases. Females usually have smaller
skeletal frameworks than males and have often engaged in less physical
activity than them. Excessive alcohol intake and cigarette smoking also
contribute to greater calcium loss.
* increase the intake of milk (low-fat is acceptable, except for young
children) and add yoghurt, cheese and tofu to the diet. Most of these foods
also contain significant levels of saturated fat. If the diet is already
high in fat, look at ways of reducing fat intake as well as increasing
* keep up regular physical activity
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