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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Calcium Controversy- Part 2

In my previous post I had discussed the evidence of vascular calcification and cardiovascular deaths in males taking calcium supplements unless specifically indicated. However, the importance of these supplements in post menopausal women has always been proved beyond doubt.

Now we have emerging evidence to the contrary.

A meta analysis revealed that calcium alone did not significantly reduce the risk of fractures while calcium with vitamin D did reduce the fracture risk by 12%. Vitamin D alone also does reduce incidence of fractures.

The National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study has given new insights.

Among women, the current study suggests a neutral effect of both dietary calcium and calcium supplements on the risk for CVD. Physicians should keep in mind, however, that vitamin D and not calcium is principally responsible for preserving bone and preventing osteoporosis among women.

Take home message:

Vitamin D at a dose of at least 800 IU/day should be the primary treatment for women at average risk for osteoporosis. Until the questions regarding the long-term safety of calcium supplements in both sexes are better understood, it is reasonable to withhold calcium among women receiving preventive treatment for bone health.


  1. Thanks for the update. Very informative.

  2. i think we have treatment options whether only calcium suppliment or calcium with Vit D or hormonal therapy as the case demands.In certain cases we cannot avoid giving calcium suppliments becos if the body does not get the required calcium than it will be resorbed from the bones and thus aggravate osteoporosis.

    1. True. But the MSG is that the calcium supplementation should be in the form of nutrition rather than medication.

  3. those who take sufficent calcium rich food won't get calcium deficiency or osteoporosis except for post meno pausal group.

  4. Osteoporosis is a growing problem specially for elderly ladies. I feel sunlight is the best and abundant source of Vitamin D. Our body takes in Vitamin D in the form of sun synthesis. Now days we generally tend to keep our selves indoors, and many hours spent in doors in absence of sunshine results in many ailments like depression etc:

    So I feel elderly women and even men should make an effort to taken 'in sunshine'. The other rich source of Vitamin D are many varieties of fishes, but as we mumineen eat only a limited variety,we have to look at other sources. One egg per day takes care of 10% of the vitamin D requirement.

    However, one tea spoon of terribly tasting Cod liver oil provides more than enough Vitamin D for the day.

    Given the above options, I would any day go my daily dose of 'sunshine' It will darken my complexion, so what, it will in return give me solid bones !!

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