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Why is it common for active women to have vitamin deficiencies?

Being active does not mean one is eating well. Being active does not preclude other negative lifestyle factors such as adequate rest or stress reduction. Vitamin insufficiency is common. Much is patient specific. Calcium intake data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that the mean dietary calcium intake among adults in the U.S. is 800 mg/day, well below the recommended intake for adults of 1,000 to 1,200 mg/day.

“…All postmenopausal women can benefit from non-pharmacologic interventions to reduce the risk of fracture, including a balanced diet with adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, regular exercise, measures to prevent falls or to minimize their impact, smoking cessation, and moderation of alcohol intake…” Delaney MF. Strategies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis during early postmenopause. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006;194(2 Suppl):S12-23.

“…Maintaining adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life. Optimal calcium intake is especially relevant during adolescence, when most bone mineral accretion occurs. Because of the influence of the family’s diet on the diet of children and adolescents, adequate calcium intake by all members of the family is important…” Greer FR, et al. Optimizing bone health and calcium intakes of infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics 2006;117(2):578-85.

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