Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Calcium Confusion Clarification

A long standing advice for women has been to take calcium supplements to reduce the risk of fractures. Recently there has been some confusion due to news reports that calcium may not help reduce the risk of fractures in osteoporotic women.
Unfortunately the details of the reported study were not clear in the media. An Australian study on calcium intake and osteoporosis recently concluded that their subjects (women who were 70 years and older) who were taking 1200 mg calcium for 5 years did not show any reduction in fracture risks. HOWEVER, (there's always a "but") when they looked at the women who actually took their calcium pills regularly, then among those women the risk of fracture was 10 percent compared to the 15 percent in the placebo takers. So calcium may help reduce the risk of fractures but only if you take it!

Bottom line: 1200 mg calcium is still recommended (1000 if you're 50 or younger), and medicine doesn't work if you don't take it. Please consult with your doctors before taking any medications or supplements.

Reference: Arch Inern. Med. 166:869, 2006.



10 comments:

kenju said...

Thanks for the clarification. I had wondered if I should continue my Tums.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have been reading your blog for a few months and felt that perhaps I should let you know that I appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to inform those of us who may not have knowledge of the information you blog. I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to move to come.

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

Thank you very much.
This is a nice thing to get at the end of a long and hard week.

Harry said...

First, thanks for blogging. This is the first blog written by a doctor that I found. From Google, no less. So, thanks again.

Second, yes this calcium thing has been intriguing me for some time, mostly because my wife has been drinking milk for years and said this will help her to have stronger bones.

However, I've read articles saying otherwise:

1. Milk fat actually will "fetch" calcium from our bones

2. Our body can't absorp calcium properly without magnesium

Personally I think drinking milk alone won't help her much without other strategies as well (exercise, eating healthily, and so on). But anyway, do you have anything to say regarding the 2 points above ?

Many thanks in advance.


Harry, Indonesia

Anonymous said...

Will you please comment on the dose of calcium you recommend for men?

Anonymous said...

yes calcium importance is most valuable through youth.

Diet pills

Anonymous said...

yes calcium importance is most valuable through youth.

Diet pills

Anonymous said...

LOL WOT!?

PHORA-HR / SF-HR

seyma said...

I am glad to have the change to read all.

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ahmet can said...

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