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April 17, 1920


JAMA. 1920;74(16):1103. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620160043011

Calcium, which makes up about one fiftieth of the weight, constitutes a larger proportion of the body than is represented by any other of the inorganic elements. This fact is by itself sufficient to lend importance to all considerations of the supply of calcium to the body. It happens that this element is distributed with considerable irregularity among the staple articles of food, so that its intake depends in no small degree on the qualitative character of the diet. Among animal foods, milk stands almost alone in exhibiting a conspicuous content of calcium, while among plant products few show even moderate richness in this element. Such facts are probably responsible for the significant statement that "the ordinary mixed diet of Americans and Europeans, at least among dwellers in cities and towns, is probably more often deficient in calcium than in any other chemical element."4

In view of the widespread

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