Washington, Jan 18: A combination of calcium and vitamin D is better at preventing bone loss in elderly women than simply taking calcium alone, says a new study.
Various studies conducted earlier have revealed that high calcium intake could effectively avert bone loss. However, the latest findings have shown that calcium therapy, though successful at preventing bone was no different than a placebo after three or five years.
Dr. Richard Prince, lead researcher and professor at the University of Western Australia in Perth revealed that long-term calcium intake loses its efficiency to shun bone loss.
"In the long term, calcium alone loses its effectiveness in preventing bone loss. But there is good news," said Dr Prince.
"Our five-year study has shown that a combination of calcium and vitamin D prevented bone loss for the duration of the study," he added.
Prince, while conducting his study on women aged 70-80 years, evaluated the relative benefits of calcium supplementation with or without vitamin D2 over the period of five years and compared it to placebo on hip bone mineral density (BMD) and bone related biochemistry in ambulatory.
The results exhibited that combination of 1200 mg of calcium a day and 1000 IU of vitamin D constantly sustained hip BMD for five years, while calcium alone was no different than placebo after three or five years.
Prince advises older women to increase their dietary calcium intake to 2 grams per day as well as replace vitamin D that would normally be activated by sunlight, especially if there is evidence of vitamin D deficiency.
The study is published in publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).