The influence of breakfast and dairy products on dietary calcium and vitamin D intake in postpubertal adolescents and young adults

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Background:  Given the importance of both calcium and vitamin D for bone health and the high prevalence of vitamin D from around the world, the present study aimed to evaluate calcium and vitamin D intake in a group of healthy Brazilian adolescents and young adults and to examine the influence of breakfast and dairy products in the total intake of these nutrients.

Methods:  One hundred and sixty adolescents and young adults, aged 16–20 years old, from a public school, participated in the present study. Three‐day dietary records were used to assess calcium and vitamin D intakes. Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured using a radioimmunoassay kit. The results were expressed as the mean (SD).

Results:  Only 3.8% of the subjects met the daily adequate intake recommendation for calcium, and none for vitamin D [682.2 (132.2) mg day−1 and 124.0 (28.0) IU day−1, respectively]. 25(OH)D serum levels were insufficient in 51.5% and deficient in 9.7% of the individuals [72.5 (22.3) nmol L−1]. There was a significant positive correlation between dairy product intake with both calcium and vitamin D (r = 0.597 and r = 0.561, respectively; P = 0.000). Adolescents who ate breakfast had a significant higher mean calcium, vitamin D and dairy product intake than adolescents who did not report this meal.

Conclusions:  The majority of adolescents and young adults did not consume recommended intakes of calcium and vitamin D and also presented 25(OH)D insufficiency. The results indicate that a regular breakfast and the consumption of dairy products represent important strategies in improving calcium and vitamin D intake in the diet.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 2: Pediatrics Division, Sao Paulo Federal University, São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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