Calcium absorption in children estimated from single and double stable calcium isotope techniques

Judy Z. Miller, David L. Smith, Lawrence Flora, Munro Peacock, C. Conrad Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


In order to determine whether the specific activity in a single serum sample estimates calcium absorption, six healthy children participated in a study using stable isotopic calcium tracers, one given orally and the second intravenously. High-resolution, fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry was used to quantify the 44Ca and 42Ca tracers in serum and urine. Subjects ingested 250 mg of calcium (215 mg calcium enriched with 35 mg 44Ca) in the form of a chewable calcium citrate malate tablet with a standard meal, followed 30 min later with an i.v. injection of 42Ca tracer. Blood for tracer determinations was obtained at 90, 120, 150, 180, and 300 min after oral ingestion, and a urine sample was obtained 24 h after oral calcium tracer administration. The average calcium absorption estimated from the ratio of urinary tracers was 41.4 ± 8.2%. This study indicates that the level of oral tracer in serum taken 150 min post-ingestion is significantly correlated (r = 0.85, p< 0.05) with calcium absorption, as determined by the tracer levels in the urine. These results show that an oral stable isotopic tracer coupled with a single blood sample can be used to estimate calcium absorption in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 15 1989


  • Calcium absorption
  • Calcium isotope techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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