Groups of South African Bantu boys and girls of 14 years, compared with local Caucasian children, have lower cortical thickness, cortical score, and crosssection and volume scores for second metacarpal. Yet, when these parameters on groups of aged Bantu men and women, 70-79 years, are compared with published values on corresponding Caucasians, there are no significant differences. Further, aged Bantu have lower prevalences of hip fracture and severe collapse of vertebral bodies. Since a low calcium intake, and in aged Bantu women numerous pregnancies and long lactations, are compatible with satisfactory bone data, it is questioned whether the present insistence on a high calcium intake is justified.
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