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Calcium/Vitamin D Combo May Be Best for Bone Health

Supplements containing a combination of calcium and vitamin D may decrease the risk of osteoporosis among post menopausal women according to a study published in the November 2010 issue of the journal Osteoporosis International.

Osteoporosis is a serious health issue characterized by low bone mass which leads to an increased risk of fractures. Women are 4 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 70% of women over the age of 80 have osteoporosis. These staggering statistics have prompted the WHO to call osteoporosis its biggest global healthcare problem.

In order to delve deeper into the link between osteoporosis and vitamin D/ calcium consumption, researchers from the University of Kuopio in Finland recruited 593 women between 66 and 71 years of age. The women were randomly assigned to receive 800 IU’s of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium supplements or a placebo daily for 3 years.

At the end of the study the researchers observed a 0.84% increase in bone mineral density among the group given the supplements compared to just 0.19% for women given the placebo.

These findings provide further evidence to support the necessity of consuming Vitamin D and calcium, especially as you age. Vitamin D and calcium are best when taken together because they work in a complementary fashion, with calcium supporting bone formation and repair, while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.

Beyond bone health, Vitamin D has also been shown to protect against mental decline and lower blood pressure.

Calcium has been shown to help with weight loss, skin health, and reducing the risk of ccolorectal cancer and stroke. Some studies have even suggested that calcium intake is associated with longevity.

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