The Camp Calcium Database

By Corrie Marie Whisner1, Sumudine Fernando1, david michael grobe2, Berdine Martin1, Chandima Hewanadungodage1, Ann Christine Catlin1

1. Purdue University 2. Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

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Camp Calcium is a unique research study that investigates factors that improve building bone during the rapid growth period of adolescence and dietary factors which influence calcium and bone metabolism. (See Got research? Camp Calcium celebrates 20 years and Got Milk? Scientist's research does a whole lot of good for the body).

While at camp, campers eat a controlled diet with a known amount of calcium and other nutrients. Researchers are able to determine utilization of calcium and other nutrients by collecting and analyzing urine, fecal and blood samples from the campers. This database presents the key questions, data, and results of the research.

Click the View Data button to explore the Camp Calcium Database!


Camp Calcium

A public access database to share collaborative research from the Weaver laboratory

Dr. Connie Weaver, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition Science has inspired and implemented some of the most preeminent research on bone health. Her laboratory studies mineral bioavailability, calcium metabolism and dietary bioactive components to improve bone health during life stages of high demand.

One of the most notable contributions from the Weaver lab is its unique research model of calcium utilization during adolescence. Known as Camp Calcium, the study of adolescent calcium metabolism began in 1990 with a group of 14 girls and 11 adult women who also served as counselors. Camp has seen continual growth over the years with the addition of boys as well as diverse racial backgrounds. June 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of Camp Calcium and the completion of 11 camps. The many research questions that have been answered by Camp Calcium studies have contributed to our current understanding of calcium metabolism and intake requirements.

Camp calcium has brought in over 21 million of external funding, much of which was supported the National Institutes of Health. Discoveries from camp have appeared in more than 28 journal articles and 20 book chapters but most exciting is the unique database that has been created from all the camps. This dataset allows current students and collaborators the opportunity to ask additional research questions and share new and exciting findings in areas related to mineral metabolism and bone health.

Key Findings

  • Camp Calcium was a key data source for determining the calcium requirements for North America and the national recommended dietary intake for teens of 1300 mg/d.
  • Boys utilize calcium more efficiently than girls but still need 1300 mg/d.
  • Blacks utilize calcium more efficiently and build stronger bones than whites by 12%.
  • Chinese-American adolescents achieve maximum calcium retention at a lower daily calcium intake than white boys and girls.
  • Calcium requirements are influenced by body weight. The more obese a child is, the more calcium their body needs to prevent fractures.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Corrie Marie Whisner; Sumudine Fernando; david michael grobe; Berdine Martin; Chandima Hewanadungodage; Ann Christine Catlin (2017), "The Camp Calcium Database,"

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