New Interactive Map Shows Global Calcium Variation
Asia and Latin America are especially low in calcium intake, according to a new interactive tool published by the Steering Committee of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF).
According to the IOF, the “…Global Map of Dietary Calcium Intake in Adults reveals that many populations are not getting enough calcium in their diets. The Map reflects the findings of a recent study published by an IOF Calcium Steering Committee”.
“The recommendations for daily calcium intake vary by country, however 800-1000 mg/day is generally recommended for healthy adults, with higher amounts recommended for teens, postmenopausal women, the elderly, and people with osteoporosis.”
“Foods rich in calcium include all dairy foods (milk, yoghurt, cheeses), certain vegetables (e.g., broccoli or kale); whole canned fish with soft edible bones such as sardines; some nuts; calcium-set soy products (tofu, soy milk); and some mineral waters.”
“Across the 74 countries included in the Map, the estimate of average dietary calcium intake among adults varies widely, from a low of 175 mg/day in Nepal to a high of 1233 mg/day in Iceland.”
“Countries in Asia, Africa and South America mostly have low calcium intakes, ranging between about 400 and 700 mg/day. Countries with average calcium intake greater than 1000 mg/day are all in Northern Europe. There can be large variation within regions, such as in Latin America, where Colombia has an average intake of only 297 mg/day, in contrast to 805 mg/day in Mexico.”
Dr. Ambrish Mithal, co-author of the study and IOF board member from India, stated: "The Map reveals that in many parts of Asia and Southeast Asia the population has extremely low intakes of calcium in the diet, with levels often less than 400 to 500 mg a day. In China and India, the world's most populous countries, the average intake is shown to be only 338 mg/day and 429 mg/day, respectively."
Senior author Professor Bess Dawson-Hughes, chair of the IOF Calcium Steering Committee and director of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston, said: “It was surprising to find what large areas of Southeast Asia and South America have very low calcium intakes. Also, only 74 of 195 countries had qualifying calcium intake information. There is concern that intake may be very low in many of the areas in which intake has not been assessed (most of Africa for example).”
“It is important that orthopedic surgeons know that the areas of Southeast Asia where calcium intake is low also have vitamin D insufficiency and that the combination contributes to fracture risk AND has a negative effect on fracture healing. The effectiveness of pharmacotherapy is not established in calcium and vitamin D deficient patients, so patients on such therapy must have adequate calcium intake and 25(OH [hydroxy]) vitamin D levels.”