Other Articles
September 1928


Author Affiliations

From the Children's Division of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1928;36(3):450-462. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1928.01920270027004

The amount of calcium excreted in the stools of a normal breast-fed infant is quite a large part of the calcium ingested. It is a remarkable fact that even breast-fed infants rarely absorb as much as 50 per cent of the calcium in the milk while, with the exception of magnesium, only a small part of the other mineral substances generally remains unabsorbed. In a paper dealing with the calcium and phosphorus metabolism of premature infants, published by one of us (B. H.) several years ago,1 the argument was put forward that the large part of the ingested calcium which reappears in the stools must have some function to fill in the body. After discussing the various possibilities, the conclusion was arrived at that the calcium in the stools probably originates chiefly from calcium excreted into the intestine after having played a rôle in the acid-base metabolism of the

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