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Children and bone demineralisation and osteoporosis

Evidence from animal, clinical and epidemiological studies suggests that high blood pressure is associated with abnormalities of calcium metabolism, predisposing an individual to osteoporosis and kidney stones. These abnormalities can be detected in children and seem to continue to adult life. A high salt intake is known to aggravate these abnormalities and their consequences thus predisposing the individual to an higher risk of osteoporosis [ 23].

A recent study carried out in both black and white adolescents showed that sodium intake was an important determinant of urinary calcium excretion in both races and would serve to support the hypothesis linking a high salt intake to osteoporosis. In this study a high sodium diet significantly reduced calcium retention in both blacks and whites, although to a lesser extent in black females [ 24].

Furthermore, there is evidence that at the time when girls are reaching puberty and stocking up bone to reach their peak bone mass (pbm), their diet is deficient in potassium and calcium [ 10]. Coupled with the high salt intake of this age group, you have many of the elements which lead to a lower pbm being achieved, which later in life predisposes that individual to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

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