Calcium Phosphorus and Magnesium

Recommendations for calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium intakes are given in Table 7. A low calcium intake is rarely a cause of rickets, although calcium deficiency has been reported in children who have no milk or dairy products in their diet. An adequate calcium intake in childhood is particularly important in order to maximize bone density. There is some controversy over the optimum calcium intake during childhood in order to achieve maximum bone density, with US and FAO/WHO

Table 7 Recommendations for minerals for infants and children (mg/day)

Nutrient

Calcium

Magnesium

Table 7 Recommendations for minerals for infants and children (mg/day)

Magnesium

Age

UK

Europe

USA RDA

FAO/

RNI

PRI

WHO RDI

0-6 months

525

440

500

6-12 months

525

400

600

600

1-3 years

350

400

500

500

4-6 years

450

450

800

600

7-10 years

550

550

800

700

11-14 years

M

1000

1000

1300

1300

F

800

800

1300

1300

15-18 years

M

1000

1000

1300

1300

F

800

800

1300

1300

0-6 months

400

300

6-12 months

400

300

500

1-3 years

270

300

460

4-6 years

350

350

500

7-8 years

200

450

500

9-10 years

450

450

1250

11-18 years

M

775

775

1250

F

625

625

1250

0-6 months

60

40

6-12 months

80

60

1-3 years

85

85

80

60

4-6 years

120

120

130

76

7-8 years

200

200

130

100

9-10 years

200

200

240

100

11-14 years

M

280

280

240

230

F

280

280

240

220

15-18 years

M

300

300

410

230

F

300

300

350

220

recommendations set higher than EU and UK ones. Most countries differentiate between boys and girls at adolescence to account for greater bone mass in males.

Recommendations for phosphorus intakes show a similar variation. Estimates of requirements assume that there is an optimum ratio of calcium:phos-phorus in the diet, so phosphorus recommendations are based on those for calcium. The optimum molar calcium:phosphorus ratio during childhood is assumed to be 1:1. The recommended ratio in infant formulas ranges from 1.3:1 to 2.1:1; the ratio in human milk is approximately 2.3:1.

There are limited data on magnesium requirements during infancy and childhood, and this is reflected in the variation of recommendations worldwide. Magnesium deficiency is rarely reported in healthy children and recommendations are largely based on normal intakes.

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