Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Ellis, Kenneth
item Shypailo, Roman
item Hergenroeder, Albert
item Perez, Maria
item Abrams, Steven

Submitted to: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2000
Publication Date: 6/1/2001
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: It is important to have sound reference data to crosscheck various aspects of body composition in scientific studies as well as clinical evaluations of health and diagnoses of disease. The International Commission on Radiological Protection has provided a summary of basic data relating to the skeleton, including estimates of total body calcium mass from birth to adulthood. However, the actual measurement of total body calcium mass during growth is only available for one child cadaver, that of a 4-year-old boy with tuberculosis who was studied about 50 years ago. We have conducted clinical studies in which we examined the body composition of living children and young adults using a technique called neutron activation analysis. It would be logical to add our current knowledge to update the data gap in the reference models for the age range between birth and adulthood. We have provided total body calcium values representative of modern-day children's bodies. In comparing our data to the older reference values, we found that our results were much lower. Therefore, we believe the standard reference values should be adjusted to accurately describe the skeletal mineralization of modern-day children.

Technical Abstract: There is a paucity of chemical data on human body composition during growth. Actual measurements of the total body calcium (TBCa) mass are available for only one cadaver study of a child, a 4-1/2-y-old boy, described in a 1951 report. We have obtained TBCa values for modern-day children and young adults using in vivo neutron activation analysis. The TBCa results for our subjects were much lower than those reported for the child cadaver, as well as the estimates derived for the "Reference Man" model. We conclude that the reference values for TBCa may need to be adjusted to appropriately describe skeletal mineralization of contemporary children.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page