Differences in calcium metabolism between adolescent and adult females

Connie M. Weaver, Berdine R. Martin, Karen L. Plawecki, Munro Peacock, Olivia B. Wood, David L. Smith, Meryl E. Wastney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


A 3-wk metabolic study measured calcium balance in 14 white adolescent girls and 11 young adult women. Subjects were housed in a sorority to simulate a free-living environment. A 6-d menu cycle consisted of foods typically eaten by teenagers and averaged 1332 mg Ca/d. Adolescents had a significantly higher calcium balance of 326 ± 107 mg/d (x̄ ± SD) than adults, who averaged 73 ± 104 mg/d (P < 0.001). No adult > age 21 y was in positive calcium balance. Adolescents had lower urinary calcium excretion values (P < 0.001), lower fecal calcium excretion (P < 0.01), and greater net absorption (P < 0.001) than adults. Calcium balance was negatively correlated with years postmenarche (r = -0.788, P = 0.0001) and height (r = -0.650, P = 0.001). Net calcium absorption was positively correlated with parathyroid hormone concentrations (r = 0.537, P = < 0.01). Thus, the growth demands of adolescents are met by more efficient net absorption and retention of calcium compared with young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-581
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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