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Mineral water - A highly effective source of calcium

PARIS, FRANCE. There is ample evidence that a sufficient intake of calcium is essential in maintaining bone health throughout one's life. A daily intake of between 1200 and 1500 mg/day is now recommended for adolescents, pregnant and nursing women, and people over 65 years of age. Recent research has shown that the beneficial effects of calcium intake wear off after a few hours and that supplements are best taken in doses of 500 mg or less because smaller quantities are much better absorbed than are large ones. The most common sources of dietary calcium are dairy products and calcium-rich vegetables.

Researchers at the Pitie-Salpetriere Medical School have just completed a study which shows that ingestion of as little as 0.5 liters (18 oz) of calcium-rich mineral water (Vittel) has an immediate and profound effect on the prevention of bone loss. Their experiment involved 12 healthy young men who participated in a series of tests designed to compare the effects of a natural mineral water containing 345 mg/L of elemental calcium with that of a mineral water containing only 10 mg/L. The study participants (after an overnight fast) drank 0.5 liters of either of the two mineral waters and then had blood and urine samples collected for the next four hours. The ingestion of the calcium- rich water significantly inhibited the secretion of parathyroid hormone after one hour and the effect was still evident after four hours. The blood level of type 1 collagen cross-linked C- telopeptide (CTx) also declined markedly after drinking the calcium-rich water. Low levels of parathyroid hormone and CTx are both beneficial in that they are associated with a reduction in bone loss (resorption). The researchers conclude that drinking calcium-rich mineral water throughout the day will not only ensure an adequate water intake, but will also help to preserve bone mass.
Guillemant, Josette, et al. Mineral water as a source of dietary calcium: acute effects on parathyroid function and bone resorption in young men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, April 2000, pp. 999-1002

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