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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1948. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1948, the author. Used by permission.


In view of the findings that a diet low in calories resulted in a lowered calcium and phosphorus retention, and that increased protein intake increased calcium and phosphorus retention, it seemed pertinent to investigate the calcium and phosphorus retention of a group of college-age women when on a reducing diet low in calories but high in protein. This was done by comparing the calcium and phosphorus retention of one group of college-age women on a diet containing 60 gm of protein daily with that of another group of college women receiving 110 gm of protein daily.

Metabolism studies were made for 2 consecutive days for each of 8 weeks on 2 groups of 7 college-age women on a reducing diet. Both groups received 1200 calories daily, but Group I received 60 gm of protein daily and Group II received 110 gm of protein daily. The effect of the two types of reducing diets on calcium and phosphorus retention was studied.

In Group I the average daily calcium intake was 1.221 gm and the retention was 0.107 gm, and in Group II the average daily calcium intake was 1.410 gm, and the excretion exceeded the intake of 0.074 gm. Group I had a corresponding phosphorus intake of 1.162 gm and the excretion exceeded the intake 0.008 gm, and Group II had an intake of 1.555 gm and had a retention of 0.013 gm. Both groups were essentially in equilibrium for both minerals, but did not attain the retentions expected for this age group.

The plausible causes for the lower retention of calcium and phosphorus during weight reduction and the variation between the retention of the two groups are discussed. It is suggested that the low fat content and the low caloric content of the reducing diet caused the lowered calcium and phosphorus retention.

This study indicates a need for further study of the effect of different levels and different kinds of fat on calcium and phosphorus absorption and retention, especially when calories are limited.

Advisor: Ruth M. Leverton