Calcium and vitamin D supplementation does not reduce the severity of joint symptoms in postmenopausal women, new research has found.
Lead investigator Rowan T. Chlebowski, MD, PhD, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, and his team used data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) calcium plus vitamin D supplementation trial.
They identified a subgroup of 1,911 postmenopausal women for the current study, who had been randomized to receive calcium carbonate with vitamin D3 daily or placebo and had undergone serial joint symptom assessment.
Between the daily supplement use and placebo groups, joint pain and swelling at baseline entry was comparable, at more than 70 percent. After two years, analysis revealed no statistically significant difference for the frequency or severity of joint pain or swelling.
Investigators found no interaction with age, BMI, race/ethnicity, or physical activity. No significant interaction was evident with non-protocol vitamin D supplement use at entry.
However, participants using non-protocol calcium supplements at entry reported less joint pain compared with those in the placebo group. The influence of calcium and vitamin D supplementation individually on joint symptoms was not determined because both were provided combined in a single pill in this trial.
The study is published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.