oa South African Medical Journal - The significance of low serum calcium values in the South African Bantu

Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Serum calcium values have been determined in groups of Bantu children and adults in good outward health. It has been found that, in common with other populations dwelling in tropical and semitropical countries, low serum calcium values are frequently observed. Discussion of our results and other relevant information indicates the following: (1) Low serum calcium values are compatible with good outward health. (2) The values probably reflect habituation to a relatively low intake of calcium. (3) They do not provide an indication of the extent of stores of body calcium. (4) They do not predispose to (a) low concentration of calcium in the breast milk; (b) poor mineralization of bone; (c) proneness to fracture bones, or (d) an increased incidence of dental caries.

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