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August 13, 1938


JAMA. 1938;111(7):621-622. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790330041011

Henry C. Sherman1 of Columbia University holds that the American diet is frequently deficient in calcium and that a calcium deficiency may be avoided by regulating the diet to include more foods with ample calcium content. Although the Sherman standards for optimum daily calcium intake are widely accepted, investigators are not agreed as to minimum calcium requirements. One difficulty in determining the basic requirements for such elements as calcium, iron and phosphorus is that they are not accurately indicated by the rate of retention in the body at any given time.

Fairbanks and Mitchell,2 who studied factors affecting calcium retention in rats, point out that the highly variable retention of calcium reported in children may be due to the variable condition of their skeletal tissues with respect to calcium storage. This has been emphasized previously, but it appears to be a point that has been overlooked in many