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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


BARRERA P, María del Pilar; LANCHEROS P, Lilia  and  VARGAS Z, Melier. The evolution and current situation of calcium consumption. [online]. 2012, vol.60, suppl.1, pp.50-61. ISSN 0120-0011.

Calcium is an essential mineral in human nutrition; it contributes towards bone formation, intervenes in metabolic functions and muscular contraction. Studies have been carried out in several countries, including Colombia, due to this nutrient's importance in public health; they have usually determined its consumption in different groups of the population, inadequate intake being found in most of them, covering less than 50% of the recommended intake, regardless of economic development. Nutritional situation surveys (Encuestas de la Situación Nutricional) in Colombia (2005, 2010) have reported a deficit in dairy product consumption, especially in low socioeconomic strata and people living in Colombia's Pacific, Amazonian and Orinoquia regions. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recently established the recommended daily calcium intake for covering the population's physiological needs; this measure is needed bearing in mind that the scientific evidence has revealed a strong association between low intake and reduced bone mineral density with increased osteoporosis and associated fractures. The IOM has also established maximum tolerable levels (UL) for avoiding excess- and supplement useassociated problems. Dietary guidelines in all countries are aimed at promoting healthy eating habits; disclosing/ disseminating such instrument is thus the responsibility of all health professionals, especially nutritionists. Research must be strengthened and strategies developed involving different sectors to improve the population's calcium intake and bone health.

Keywords : Calcium; Feeding; Dairy Products; Food Intake; Osteoporosis.

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