Global Calcium Consumption Appears Low, Especially in Asia

Source: Brown University

Summary: According to a new systematic review of global daily calcium consumption suggests that it varies all around the world, calcium intake is lowest in East Asia and highest in Northern Europe.

A new systemic review of research data suggests that there are many areas in the world with risk to bone health. The daily calcium intake among adults appears to differ quite widely all around the world in distinct regional patterns. This study was done ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20. Low calcium intake adversely affects bone health in adults. Researchers from Brown University developed an interactive global map and categorized the countries based on average calcium intake and summarized differences in intake based on sex, age and socioeconomic status. The results were published in the journal Osteoporosis International.

Daily Calcium Consumption

Researchers found that countries in South and East Asia had particularly low rates of calcium consumption, while amounts were much higher in Northern Europe. Credit: Brown University

Finally, the researchers found useful information pertaining to 74 countries. Southern and eastern Asian countries had world’s lowest average calcium intakes – less than 400mg a day; Countries in South America and Africa the average calcium intake is between 400-700 mg a day; While only Northern European countries registered the good amount of calcium intakes greater than 1000 mg a day. Ideal intake of calcium varies around the world but in most of the countries, the average intake is lower than recommended. The researchers hope that this data will motivate an action to promote calcium intake, particularly in Asia-Pacific region.

Lead author Ethan Balk, “Outside of North America and most of Europe, particularly Northern Europe, there is lower intake than there should be for good bone health”, “In many parts of the world, the low average calcium intake may be putting most people at increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis.”

More Information: E.M. Balk et al, “Global dietary calcium intake among adults: a systematic review”, Osteoporosis International (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00198-017-4230-x

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