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Bone Health Calcium Optimal calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is important to prevent fractures and osteoporosis. The goals for calcium intake are greater than 1300mg daily in adolescents and greater than 1,000mg daily in young adults. Your body only absorbs 500mg at a time; therefore make sure to have calcium as part of all three of your meals. Many women need to consume five servings of dairy products daily. Also, adolescent girls who consume higher-calcium diets including 2% milk, skim milk, and American cheese do not have higher daily fat or calorie intake. Dairy products are the richest source of calcium, however sardines, turnips, kale, green leafy vegetables like broccoli, calcium-fortified fruit drinks and calcium-fortified soymilk are absorbed well. Although it is preferred to obtain calcium from ones diet, calcium carbonate is the most widely available preparation for supplementation. Vitamin D Vitamin D DEFECIENCY is defined as a Vitamin D, 25-OH level less than 20 (normal range 30-100). Please consult your physician for treatment. Vitamin D deficiency is often treated with a prescription for 50,000 international units (IU) of Vitamin D weekly for six weeks. Vitamin D INSUFFIENCY is defined as a Vitamin D, 25-OH level between 20 and 30 (normal range 30-100). Insufficiency may be treated with 800-1,000 IU of Vitamin D without a prescription. Iron Two key nutrients often affected by restricting food intake are iron and calcium. Iron deficiency can affect several metabolic functions related to energy production and may present as fatigue and decreased performance. Ferritin levels in blood are the most sensitive screening tools for iron deficiency. Levels less than 20 ng/mL may affect an athlete’s performance. Red meat in combination with Vitamin C is the best source of iron in our diet. Ferrous sulfate (325 mg/day) supplementation is the preparation most often recommended. However, supplementation may cause an upset stomach and slowrelease supplement may be preferred or decreased daily dosage to every other day. Too much iron may result in decreased absorption of zinc and copper, therefore do not exceed recommendations. Zinc and Magnesium Diets low in animal protein, high in fiber and vegetarian diets are associated with zinc deficiency. Zinc has been shown to directly affect thyroid hormone levels and metabolic rate. Magnesium deficiency results in increased oxygen requirements for performance. Magnesium is often low in weight-class and body-conscious athletes. Cassidy M. Foley, D.O. Pediatric Orthopedic Associates / Next Level Sports Medicine ACSM American Dietetic Association Dietitians of Canada. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports &Exercise. 2009:41(3);709-731.