Recently, I heard about the latest research that taking calcium and vitamin D in menopausal women did not help with osteoporosis. One of the blatant mistakes that many researchers make in these studies is that they often use the wrong form of supplements. For example, calcium carbonate does not build bone, and yet, most physicians are still recommending it to their patients! This information is not new. One of the very few calcium compounds that build bone is MCHC (microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate) which contains a significant amount of collagen matrix involved in bone building. When combined with at least 1500 I.U. of vitamin D, the body is able to build bone and reverse bone loss!
Diet plays a very important factor in bone loss. Generally, individuals on high protein diets consuming very few veggies and fruit, have a greater calcium loss. This is because too much protein creates an imbalance in the ph of the body, making it too acidic. The more acidic the body the more calcium is leached from the bones into urine or accumulates in body and organ tissues, i.e. calcification.
Also any form of resistance exercise i.e. weights and yoga is critical to maintaining and improving bone health. Some of you may need hormonal support to help increase bone density. Lastly, avoid inflammatory foods by following the blood type program.
Recent negative media coverage of the NEJM “Calcium plus Vitamin D Supplementation and the Risk of Fractures” study, is a misinterpretation of a well-designed study. Let’s take a look at the facts:
This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial including
36,282 postmenopausal women, 50-79 years of age and took place over seven years.
At a quick review of the abstract the media is reporting the following from the conclusion: “…calcium with vitamin D supplementation…did not significantly reduce hip fractures…”
This is, in good scientific form, reporting the outcome of the study.
As we look at the study in its entirety, we see a much more in depth explanation of the outcome. All of the following information is well described in the study.
The study carefully explains the fact that only 59 percent of the women were taking the intended dose of the study pills.
The study also points out that of those participants that did adhere to the regimen, there was a “significant, 29 percent relative decrease” in hip fractures.
The study showed an increase in hip bone density.
Dosage in this study was 1000mg of calcium and 400IU of vitamin D. This was a standard recommended dose when the study began. During the seven years of the study, new studies have shown 600IU or higher of vitamin D is more effective. The recommended calcium levels have also increased to 1200mg.
Other factors the authors of the study point out to consider when evaluating the results of the study:
The population was not calcium deficient and women were allowed to take multivitamins and calcium supplements.
Some of the women in the study were also participating in a hormone replacement therapy arm of the same study group.
The average BMI (Body Mass Index) was higher than expected.
There were fewer women over the age of 70 than projected.
In conclusion, this study shows a positive correlation of taking calcium plus vitamin D supplements to increase bone density and decrease hip fractures in women 50-79 years of age. In light of the fact that hip fractures were not reduced further than 29 percent, leads us to conclude that there are many more aspects of health and nutrition that need to be considered to prevent fractures at a higher success rate.
Source: Jackson, Rebecca, et al. “Calcium plus Vitamin D Supplementation and the Risk of Fractures” New England Journal of Medicine 2006;345:669-83.