Calcium-deficiency assessment and biomarker identification by an integrated urinary metabonomics analysis eInterview with Maoquing Wang

Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Harbin MedicalUniversity, 157 Baojian Road, Nangang District, Harbin, 150081, P. R. China What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Wang: Our group first reported that the 2-week low-calcium diet could result in metabolic changes and 27 reliable biomarkers of calcium deficiency were identified. The correlations between calcium intake and two of the biomarkers indicated that these biomarkers could be used alone or in combination as a non-invasive screening method with greater sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of calcium deficiency in humans in future. The identified biomarkers give new insights into the pathophysiological changes and molecular mechanisms of calcium deficiency. 
Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Wang: No. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Wang: Calcium deficiency, particularly in the initial stages is asymptomatic and does not lead to obvious pathological changes. Therefore, it is easily missed. But, our result indicated that short-time calcium deficiency (the 2-week low-calcium diet) could result in obvious metabolic changes. The result suggested that clinicians and patients should given enough attention to calcium deficiency, even in the initial stage. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Wang: Establish a noninvasive diagnosis method for accurately assessing and providing appropriate nutritional intervention in humans;

Elucidate the metabolic responses of calcium deficiency in humans.


Calcium-deficiency assessment and biomarker identification by an integrated urinary metabonomics analysis.

Wang M, Yang X, Wang F, Li R, Ning H, Na L, Huang Y, Song Y, Liu L, Pan H, Zhang Q, Fan L, Li Y, Sun C.
BMC Med. 2013 Mar 28;11(1):86. [Epub ahead of print]

Last Updated on April 9, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD