Calcium Intakes of Women

The lack of effect of calcium supplementation on maternal bone metabolism during lactation does not lessen the importance of consuming foods rich in calcium. Available data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) suggest that women, regardless of reproductive stage, are not meeting recommended intakes for calcium [31]. Daily median calcium intake by adult women aged 20-39 years is about 684 mg/day [31]. In African-American and other ethnic minority groups, calcium intake is particularly low [32]. While the calcium intakes of lactating women, specifically, have not been extensively studied in North America, data from a small sample of lactating women (n = 16) participating in the 1994 Continuing Food Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII), suggest a median calcium intake of 1,050 mg/ day [33]. Similarly, in another study of lactating women (n = 52), average calcium intakes were approximately 1,218 mg and 1,128 mg/day at 3 and 6 months postpartum, respectively [34].

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