Currently, there is insufficient evidence to justify different calcium intake recommendations for people with different levels of physical activity.
Sodium. Sodium and calcium excretion are linked in the proximal renal tubule. High sodium chloride intake results in increased absorbed sodium, increased urinary sodium, and an increased obligatory loss of urinary calcium (Kurtz et al., 1987). Quantitatively, 500 mg of sodium as sodium chloride has been shown to draw about 10 mg (0.25 mmol) of calcium into the urine in postmenopausal women (Nordin and Polley, 1987). This linkage holds at moderate and high calcium intakes, but some dissociation occurs at low calcium intakes (Dawson-Hughes et al., 1996), probably because low calcium intakes induce higher PTH levels, and PTH promotes the reabsorption of filtered calcium in the distal renal tubule. In children and adolescents, urinary sodium is an important determinant of urinary calcium excretion (Matkovic et al., 1995; O'Brien et al., 1996). An association between salt intake (or sodium excretion) and skeletal development has not been demonstrated in children or adolescents, but one longitudinal study in postmenopausal women identified a correlation between high urinary sodium excretion and increased bone loss from the hip (Devine et al., 1995). Thus, although indirect evidence indicates that dietary sodium chloride has a negative effect on the skeleton, the effect of a change in sodium intake on bone loss and fracture rates has not been reported. Although there is some concern related to the effects of the high salt content of American diets (from processed foods, etc.), available evidence does not warrant different calcium intake requirements for individuals according to their salt consumption.
Protein. Protein increases urinary calcium excretion, but its effect on calcium retention is controversial. In balance studies involving use of formula diets in which the phosphorus content was stable, 1 g of dietary protein from both animal and vegetable sources increased urinary calcium excretion by about 1 to 1.5 mg (Linkswiler et al., 1981; Margen et al., 1974). Walker and Linkswiler (1972) found that urinary calcium increased by about 0.5 mg for each gram of dietary protein, as protein intake increased above 47 g/day. In a recent study, a high protein intake (2.71 ± 0.75 g/kg/day) had no measurable effect on urinary pyridinium cross-links of collagen, an index of bone resorption (Delmas, 1992), in young adults consum-