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Calcium - but not vitamin D - supplements promote bone health in postmenopausal women

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Calcium supplements significantly improve bone health in postmenopausal women vitamin D supplements alone do not reduce bone turnover or osteoporosis risk, according to a new study.

Researchers studied 159 postmenopausal healthy white women who were randomised to receive:

  • calcium (1200 mg daily) plus placebo
  • vitamin D3 (100 μg; 4000 IU) plus placebo
  • vitamin D3 and calcium
  • double placebo

Bone turnover markers were reduced in both the groups containing calcium but not in the group receiving vitamin D alone.

But the researchers stress that women need to be cautious about the possibility of vascular side effects from too much calcium and get advice on whether they should take supplements at all.

J Clin Endocrinol Metabol online September 24.

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