Dietary Calcium Intake in Lactose Maldigesting Intolerant and Tolerant African-American Women

Center for Nutrition, Department of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee 37208, USA.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.45). 03/2002; 21(1):47-54. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2002.10719193
Source: PubMed


The relationship between lactose maldigestion, lactose intolerance, and calcium intake in premenopausal African American women is unknown.
To determine how intolerance of lactose and dairy products affects intake of calcium in lactose maldigesting premenopausal African American women.
Dietary intake of calcium was assessed in 50 premenopausal lactose maldigesting African American women as determined by the breath hydrogen test. Twenty-six women were lactose intolerant and 24 were lactose tolerant by self-reports.
The average intake of calcium in lactose maldigesting and intolerant women was significantly lower than in lactose tolerant women (388 +/- 150 mg/day vs. 763 +/- 333 mg/day, p < 0.0001, t test). Neither group reached the newly established Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for calcium (1,000 mg/day). Major source of dietary calcium in lactose tolerant women were milk and dairy products (45%), and mixed foods containing calcium from non-dairy sources (30%). In lactose intolerant women, 46% of calcium was from mixed foods and only 12% was from milk and dairy products. Lactose intolerant women had higher body mass index (BMI) than lactose tolerant women (p = 0.008, t test), and calcium intake was negatively associated with BMI (R2 = 0.470).
In African American premenopausal women, lactose tolerance facilitates the dietary intake of calcium when compared with their lactose intolerant counterparts. Low calcium intake is associated with higher BMI.

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