Seniors Taking Calcium Benefit From Reduced Bone Loss

A study in this week's issue of "The Lancet" finds that people over the age of 50 who take calcium supplementation have a 12% lower risk of fracture or bone loss compared to those who don't. The research team at the University of Western Sydney analyzed 17 studies involving over 50,000 people over the age of 50 who received treatment for an average of 3 and half years. They found that patients who consistantly maintained a calcium dosing regimen had a 24% reduced risk of fracture. Protection from broken bones also improved with additional doses of vitamin D supplements.

The study found that the treatment had the greatest effect on those who were elderly, lived in institutions, weighed less, consumed little calcium, or were at a more elevated baseline risk than normal.

Researchers suggest that people staying in institutions may have benefitted from nurses monitoring and ensuring they take their daily tablets. Through researching 23 trials that examined bone density, researchers found that calcium supplementation lowered bone loss rate at the hip by .5% and the spine by 1.1%.

 Head researcher, Dr. Benjamen Tang states, "Our Meta-analysis has shown that calcium supplementation, alone or in combination with vitamin D, is effective in the preventive treatment of osteoporotic fracture... poor compliance is a major obstacle in obtaining the full benefit of calcium supplementation."


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