Calcium and magnesium distribution in groundwater and food substances in parts of Central plateau state, Northcentral Nigeria.
Adequate intakes of calcium and magnesium in water have been found to reduce the risk of some diseases (cardiovascular, diabetes, rectal cancer, neurological disturbances and pre-eclemsia in women) especially where adequate amount of these ions are not supplemented in foods. The dependence on waters abstracted directly from hand dug wells and other sources without any form of treatment and or regulation are of great concern to the health of humans and animals. Groundwater abstracted from hand dug wells and hand pumps without any form of treatment, are the main sources of water supply for rural inhabitants of central Plateau State, Nigeria. The aim of this study was to map out the distribution of calcium and magnesium using GIS in parts of central Plateau State. Multivariate analysis to explain the variation of these ions in aquifers of the area was also employed. Four rock types constitute the aquifers from which water is abstracted for drinking (migmatite, biotite granite, granite gneiss and basalts) exhibiting variations in their contents of calcium and magnesium. Averagely, content of calcium and magnesium are higher in the migmatite compared to the other rock types. Generally the total content of calcium in both foods and water do not meet the recommended daily intake of 1000 mg for an adult. Although, magnesium is quite low in 90% of water points, the daily recommended daily intake of 200 – 400 mg for adult is supplemented in (Zea Mays, and sorghum) staple foods consumed daily by every household in the area. There is the need for calcium supplements in the area to meet the recommended daily intake.