Calcium predicts TBMC and spine BMD in female midshipmen

A. Ogawa, A. J. Blake, D. W. Armstrong, A. J. Drake, K. M.M. Shakir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preventing osteoporosis and reducing fracture risk may depend on the identification of lifestyle factors that increase peak bone mass. We investigated the relationship between calcium intake and total body bone mineral content (TBMC) and, bone mineral density (BMD) of the spine in 22 United States Naval Academy female midshipmen (MIDN) (Ht= 1.63±.02 m; Wt=59.1±8.1 kg; Age=18.5±.3 yo;). Calcium intake was estimated at baseline and 3 years later using a food frequency questionnaire. TBMC and BMD were measured using a Norland XR-26 dual energy x-ray absorptiometer (DEXA). Baseline TBMC (2584±294 g) was predicted by calcium intake (1142±617 g; p<.01). Baseline TBMC increased 3.2% over the study period (p<.001). Calcium/ expressed as mg*kg body weight-1, predicted 76% of the variance in follow-up TBMC (2664±316 g; p<.001) while body weight alone predicted only 63% of the variance. This finding suggests that the positive relationship between calcium and TBMC is dependent on body weight. Baseline spine BMD was predicted by the combination of body weight and calcium intake (p<.05). Spine BMD increased 3% (p<.001) during the study. We conclude that calcium intake and body weight are predictive of TBMC and spine BMD of USNA female MIDN. Dietary calcium appears to be a positive modifier of peak bone mass in 18-22 yo female MIDN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A390
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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