Health + Safety

Study: Calcium Intake Lessens Risk For Diabetes In African-American Children

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GirlWithMilk

A new study finds that African American children with a genetic predisposition to diabetes may be able to reduce their risk by getting the USDA-recommended dose of calcium.

An estimated 25 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, or about 1 in 12 people.  Of those diagnosed, African Americans are at a significantly higher risk, and the path for the disease is often set in childhood.

“Even though life expectancy for people with diabetes has gone up, the disease has a significant impact on quality of life, so finding ways to prevent people from developing diabetes is critical,” said Laura Tosi, M.D., director of the bone health program at Children’s National Medical Center and one of the study’s lead investigators. “We were excited to find that higher calcium intake appears to mitigate the impact of some of the risk genes for type 2 diabetes, and we’re eager to see if these results hold true in other populations.”

Joseph Devaney, Ph.D, a co-investigator of the study adds:”The earlier you can identify a person’s risk factors, the better the opportunity to prevent, or at least delay, full-blown disease.”

The USDA recommends children age 4-8 get 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, the equivalent of about 3.5 8-ounce glasses of milk or 4.5 ounces of cheese. Children age 9-13 years should get about 1,300 milligrams. In addition to dairy products, other calcium-rich foods include tofu, sardines, salmon and some green vegetables.

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