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Calcium in isolation no good for maintaining bone integrity

by Medindia Content Team on  February 21, 2006 at 4:44 PM Diet & Nutrition News   - G J E 4
Calcium in isolation no good for maintaining bone integrity
Do not fret or blame all those people who had been telling you to take calcium for strong bones. Calcium plays an important part for bone strength but is not the only one. It works in conjugation with other nutrients as well.
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As per a recent study which is part of Woman's Health Initiative, funded by the US government "Calcium and vitamin D supplements may not be effective in preventing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women"

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The study results are based on statistical analysis. The loop hole here is that in no way this could absolutely prove or disprove the effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on bone health.

The seven-year study as evident in two articles published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that overall, supplementation of calcium and vitamin D was not associated with reduced risk of bone loss and colorectal disease. The results also showed that women who constantly took the supplements had their risk of hip fractures reduced by 29 percent. The risk among women over 60 was reduced by 21 percent.

Overall, the results were confusing to many people, laymen and professionals as well. According to the participants the study was not reliable enough because a large percentage of women did not follow the calcium-vitamin D supplementation regimen.

Some statisticians said the positive results should be ignored because one should not just focus on certain subgroups of subjects for a positive result.

Regardless of the effect of calcium-vitamin D supplements on bone health and colorectal cancer risk, many agreed that people should not stop taking the supplements because they are still important for other health conditions.

Bone health is determined by many factors. Calcium and vitamin D are only two of them. As for calcium, the source is also important. There is no denying that dairy products contain huge amounts of calcium. There should be a balance between diet, exercise and supplementation to maintain healthy bones. To have healthy bones is not a matter of simply taking calcium-vitamin D supplements at an older age. People who bet their health on supplements may be looking for trees while forgetting about the forest.

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