Date Published: 4 September 2006
Calcium keeps bones healthier over time
Research at The University of Auckland suggests that calcium supplements have a cumulative effect in older women, reducing the rate of bone loss by 60% or more over a five year period.
The study, funded by the Health Research Council (HRC) and published in the American Journal of Medicine, measured bone density in 1500 women with an average age of 74 years, over a period of five years, the longest study of its type. The women who consistently took calcium supplements of 1 gram per day, the equivalent of four servings of dairy, showed a sustained reduction in loss of bone density, with the average participant reducing bone loss by over two-thirds in five years compared to women who did not take supplements.
“ Bone density is relatively stable from puberty to menopause, when the loss of oestrogen causes a gradual reduction in density and strength,” said Professor Ian Reid of the University’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.
“ Routinely taking calcium supplements, or increasing the amount of dairy in the diet, is a lifestyle change with a small but real effect for older women that can increase bone strength and potentially reduces the possibility of bone fractures. It is not a miracle cure for osteoporosis and other bone diseases, but can certainly provide women with a chance to keep bones stronger and healthier.”
Source: Auckland University, New Zealand.