Increasing Calcium Intake Does Not Prevent Bone Diseases

June 27, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. calcium (n.) [kal-see-uhm] – a mineral that is present in the human bone
Example: People with weak bones have low calcium levels in the body.

2. fracture (n.) [frak-cher] – the breaking of bones
Example: I had a knee fracture after I accidentally fell down the stairs.
3. advise (v.) [ad-vahyz] – to help or guide someone in order to prevent or solve a problem
Example: When I was choosing my major, my father advised me to take up engineering. 

4. dairy (n.) [dair-ee] – food that contains milk or milk products
Example: Cows are the main source of dairy products.

5. multivitamins (n.) [muhl-ti-vahy-tuh-min] – a substance that contains several vitamins
Example: Every day, I take multivitamins that has iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin B.

Read the text below.

Swedish researchers have found that taking more calcium does not prevent bone diseases like fracture and osteoporosis.

The researchers monitored more than 60,000 women for a period of 19 years. From their study, the results showed that 24% of the women suffered from fracture, while 1 out of 5 for every group of 5,000 developed osteoporosis. In addition, those women who took 750mg of calcium faced the same risk as women who consumed 1135mg.

However, experts agree that low calcium intake still puts a person at risk of bone diseases. In UK, the recommended amount of calcium is 700mg. On the other hand, European Union sets a slightly higher amount at 800 mg.

A recent survey in UK shows that 50% of British women have calcium intake lower than 800 mg. Experts advise that these women increase their calcium intake from 700 to 750 mg a day by eating high-calcium food like dairy, apricots, leafy vegetables, and almonds. Multivitamins and supplements can also be taken as additional sources of calcium, experts added.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why should people know the latest news about health?
·         Do you think it is helpful for people to always listen to news about health? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is necessary to take vitamins even if you eat healthy food?
·         What do you think are the advantages and/or disadvantages of taking vitamins or food supplements?

June 27, 2011