Calcium Hunger: Behavioral and Biological Regulation

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This book brings together the behavioral, physiological, and neuroendocrine regulation of calcium. An understanding of how the brain orchestrates whole-body demands for calcium is introduced. The approach is one in which behavior in addition to physiology serves bodily maintenance. The book links basic and clinical literature surrounding calcium homeostasis, as a wide variety of clinical syndromes are tied to calcium metabolism. Because calcium is so important during life stages particular to women, an emphasis is placed on the relevance of calcium to women's health throughout the book, though not exclusively since calcium is fundamental to both sexes.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Richard W. Hubbard, BA, MS, PhD (Loma Linda University)
Description: Behavior to serve calcium physiology is the author's theme and he struggles with innate and/or learned reasoning and a great deal of historical perspective. The added physiology of gestation is played on in an evolutionary theme to amplify behavioral response to calcium need. The inclusion of neural steroid and peptide hormone influences on calcium metabolism and clinical evaluations are amplified to envelop whole body calcium regulation.
Purpose: This book seeks to provide a context that satisfies behavioral, hormonal, and physiological mechanisms for regulation of adequacy of calcium stores. However, the author says he does this to provide for the calcium hunger concept to be somewhat understood.
Audience: This book would be of particular interest to nutritionists, dietitians, physiologists, biochemists, psychologists, psychiatrists, general physicians, and those seeking relationships between our calcium needs and animal and human instincts to recognize and to seek out how to meet this need.
Features: Calcium ingestion is regulated by behavior and physiology. The overlying theme is that increased calcium ingestion is in the context of increased need for calcium. The example of the human patient on dialysis who is pushed into hypocalcemia and has an increased preference for salty foods. The gustatory system is stated to be responsive to changes in calcium balance. Calcium is noted to be required for a large variety of physiological functions as well as it being the main mineral of bone.
Assessment: The author makes a strong case for animal and human response to calcium deficiency. However, there are several missing factors that weaken his effort. One of the most important of these is to assess actual calcium retention. The high calcium intake of meat eaters is heavily influenced by the high sulfur content of animal protein which produces a high sulfate load which reacts with calcium and the calcium, as calcium sulfate, is rapidly excreted in the urine. So meat eaters need a significantly higher calcium intake than plant eaters. This is not appreciated by the author. The second significant weakness is the failure to recognize the importance of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is mentioned once or twice, but never presented for its dynamic importance in bone and body chemistry. This is a significant oversight.
From the Publisher
"a valuable addition to the reading list of not only established scientists interested in various aspects of nutrition research, but also of graduate students." Forum

2 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521795517
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Behavioral regulation of the internal milieu; 2. Behavioral/gustatory regulation of calcium; 3. Gender differences in calcium regulation; 4. Neural and endocrine regulation of calcium ingestion; 5. Nutritional issues, bodily health, and calcium regulation over the life cycle; Conclusion; References; Appendix; Index.
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