New Delhi: Are you a vegetarian and don`t like milk? Then ensure that your daily platter includes food like finger millet dosa, soybean chutney, sesame ladoo or rasgulla -- they all help supplement calcium deficiency, suggest Indian scientists.A joint study by University of Pune and Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute (HCJMRI) found that calcium intake was only 63 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for boys and and 53 percent for girls.According to the RDA developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research, children aged 7-9 years require 600 mg of calcium daily, while it is 800 mg for those in the age group of 10-19 years.The new study into the dietary habits of 236 children aged 7-19 years found that 90 percent of their diet was "deficient in calcium". While 45 percent participants consumed milk, 36 percent of them had no milk intake at all.Thus, the researchers developed 14 non-dairy-based calcium-rich products and 12 dairy-based calcium-rich products using methods like malting and fermentation "as food-based interventions" to raise calcium intake in children."Calcium is required for formation of strong bones and teeth, blood clotting, normal muscle movement and function of some hormones. Its deficiency could alter all these functions and may increase the risk of osteoporosis in old age," said Neha Sanwalka of Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at University of Pune, the lead author.
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