Why do some children become stunted and absorb calcium poorly?

Calcium plays an important role because it takes part in building the bones. Moreover, it helps strengthen the teeth, produce some hormones, stimulate muscular and myocardial activities and transmit nerve cells. When suffering from calcium deficiency and poor calcium absorption, children have risks of stunting and mental retardation.

Children are stunted due to calcium deficiency.

One of the main causes of stunting and slow height gain is mostly from calcium-deficient diets. Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the process of forming and nourishing bones and boosting height growth in each child. Therefore, at any stage, when children's bodies do not receive sufficient calcium, they will often suffer from anorexia, malnutrition, insomnia, and even mental retardation and stunting.

How to provide sufficient calcium to children?

Changing eating habits is the simplest way to replenish calcium in your body. In particular, children's bodies easily take calcium from daily meals with some foods such as seafood including shrimps, crabs, oysters, fishes and so on; vegetables including lettuce, cabbage, kale, celery, beans, etc. Furthermore, in order to stimulate the development of the skeletal system, children need to be provided calcium from milk and dairy products such as yogurt, butter, cheese, etc. Vitamin K in vegetables is also considered a factor forming osteocalcin, which helps accumulate calcium into the bones.

Seafood is considered a great source of calcium.

Seafood is considered a great source of calcium.

However, prolonged improper calcium supplementation can lead to "retrograde effect", cause kidney stones, calcify the arteries, etc. When calcium is overloaded, children often suffer from thirst, frequent urination, nausea and arrhythmia. If children encounter such symptoms, parents should stop the calcium supplementation and take them to the hospital for timely treatment.

How much calcium do people need each day?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the daily necessary amount of calcium is divided by age: children under 6 months old require 300 mg/day; children from 7 to 12 months old require 400 mg/day; children from 1 to 3 years old require 500 mg/day; children from 4 to 6 years old require 600 mg/day; children from 7 to 9 years old require 700 mg/day; children from 10 years old require 1000 mg/day; people from 11 to 24 years old require 1200 mg/day; people from 24 to 50 years old require 800-1000 mg/day. Pregnant women and the elderly require 1200-1500 mg/day.

Children are stunted due to poor calcium absorption.

A child's body is capable of absorbing nutrients. However, this process of absorption is often different in each child. There are children who absorb nutrients very well and vice versa. The absorption of calcium from the outside into the body is no exception. When eating calcium-rich foods, the bodies of children with good calcium absorption capacity will fully absorb all that calcium. On the contrary, in children with poor calcium absorption capacity, in addition to not absorbing calcium, their bodies also eliminate calcium quickly. Research shows that the above syndrome comes from some main causes like the improper diets, children suffering from enzyme deficiency or illnesses, etc.

Improper diets

Many parents' habits of feeding salty foods, fast food, bitter and acrid fruit, carbonated soft drinks to their children cause difficulty in calcium absorption. At the same time, if children eat plenty of foods containing phytic acid, cellulose, phosphorus, protein, calcium from the gastrointestinal tract will not be absorbed into the blood, thereby increasing calcium excretion.

Improper diets easily cause poor calcium absorption syndrome.

Improper diets easily cause poor calcium absorption syndrome.

Enzyme deficiency

Enzyme is an extremely important catalyst to help the digestion and the absorption of nutrients take place more easily and more quickly. Therefore, enzyme deficiency is also considered one of the reasons why children cannot tolerate all nutrients from foods, including calcium.


Children who are suffering from kidney diseases and gastrointestinal diseases such as food allergies, intestinal inflammation, intestinal infections will also have difficulty in calcium absorption, resulting in calcium deficiency. Moreover, there are many other reasons for poor calcium absorption syndrome in children such as Vitamin D deficiency, intestinal parasitic infections, environmental pollution, etc.

Taking calcium to deal with poor calcium absorption

Calcium is known as the main building block of your growing bones. And keeping a suitable intake of calcium can increase calcium concentration and bone mineral density. According to many experts, taking calcium is necessary for those who absorb calcium poorly. In order to avoid calcium deficiency, adults and children can use calcium. Thanks to its super micro size, calcium possesses an extremely good solubility. This substance is capable of rapidly penetrating intestinal membrane and thus it can be maximally absorbed into the blood.

If you do not have much time to provide sufficient calcium for your children through daily meals, you can use growth supplements that contain Calcium.