Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Clarifies Roles Of Calcium, Vitamin D, And Protein In Bone Health, Fracture Risk

Date:
June 5, 2006
Source:
International Osteoporosis Foundation
Summary:
New research shows calcium in food might do more to protect bones than supplemental calcium in pill form, according to results presented at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis in Toronto, Canada.

New research shows calcium in food might do more to protect bones than supplemental calcium in pill form, according to results presented at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis in Toronto, Canada. Bones lose calcium as they age, making them vulnerable to osteoporosis and fractures.

"We found that people who take just dietary calcium, or a combination of dietary calcium with supplements, have better bone density than those who take supplements alone," explained Dr. Reina Armamento-Villareal of the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (conference abstract P696). "So we think dietary sources are better than supplemental sources by themselves."

In separate presentations, researchers from the Netherlands report that vitamin D supplements reduce fracture risk only in the presence of additional calcium; a new study finds vitamin D deficiency is widespread among European women; and researchers from California add to a growing consensus that high protein foods also promote bone health.

IOF's Bone Appetit campaign, a global initiative focused on the role of nutrition and food in bone health, to be launched on World Osteoporosis Day 2006, 20 October, make these findings especially timely.

Dietary calcium more beneficial than calcium supplements

Clues to Armamento-Villareal's discovery were identified in women split into three groups: one that got calcium from supplements only; another that got it from food only; and a third that got calcium from both supplements and food. Dietary sources were associated with high levels of active estrogen metabolites in urine, which is important because estrogen builds bone mass during youth and prevents bone loss during aging. "And we believe that if urinary levels of estrogen metabolites are high then estrogen levels in the body are also high," Armamento-Villareal said.

According to Armamento-Villareal, dietary calcium appears to be optimally absorbed by the body. But Armamento-Villareal cautioned the study didn't reflect calcium intake patterns over a lifetime, so some uncertainties about the long-term differences between dietary and supplemental calcium remain.

"Our future plan is to conduct a two to three year study comparing their effects during growing years to determine if one source of calcium is better than the other in building bones," she said.

Bone fracture, vitamin D, and calcium

Calcium's bone strengthening benefits don't accrue in isolation--vitamin D also promotes healthy bone mass by enhancing calcium absorption. Now, researchers from Belgium and the Netherlands report that high dose vitamin D supplements taken for osteoporosis prevention and treatment need sufficient calcium to be effective (conference abstract OC21).

The discovery builds on findings by Heike Bischoff-Ferrari from the Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland, who showed previously that supplemental vitamin D at doses of 800 international units or more protects against bone fractures. The Bischoff-Ferrari, et al. study was unable to assess the role of calcium in that protection, however.

Dr. Steven Boonen of the Leuven University Center for Metabolic Bone Diseases, in Belgium, and colleagues from Brussels University and Amsterdam University in the Netherlands, followed up with a broad literature search addressing the role of both calcium and vitamin D protection against hip fracture risk. The investigation showed that even at 800 international units per day, vitamin D could not protect against hip fracture in the absence of additional calcium. "Our meta-analysis shows there are two requirements for vitamin D to be effective," Boonen said. "First, you need the appropriate dose of vitamin D, as indicated by Ferrari, et al., and second you have to combine that dose with calcium."

Not Enough Vitamin D

In a different study, Dr. Olivier Bruyere of the University of Liege, Belgium, and his colleagues showed that most post-menopausal women living in Europe may be deficient in vitamin D, putting them at elevated risk of bone loss and fractures (conference abstract P142SA). Experts suggest the body needs at least 50 to 80 nanamoles per liter of vitamin D in blood serum for optimal bone health.

Bruyere and his colleagues analyzed vitamin D levels in 8,532 European postmenopausal women. Among the women, nearly 80% had circulating vitamin D levels below the high end of the acceptable range. Roughly one third of the women had levels lower than 50 nanamoles per liter, suggesting they have a serious risk of osteoporotic fractures.

Bruyere said the findings were consistent regardless of whether the women lived in sun-drenched countries or not. This is remarkable because vitamin D is produced in the skin by a reaction that requires sunlight. "That's one of the interesting outcomes of our study,"

Bruyere says. "We tested women from France, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Spain, the UK, and Germany but the findings were independent of latitude. So, based on that, we could hypothesize that vitamin D levels might be low all over the world."

The researchers observed identical levels of vitamin D deficiency in women aged lower than 70. Bruyere suggests these complimentary findings indicate that age has little bearing on the degree of deficiency. "Even young post-menopausal women should take some form of vitamin D supplementation," he said. "Supplements should not be restricted just to the elderly."

Is Protein Good for your Bones?

While the protective effects of calcium and vitamin D have been repeatedly demonstrated, the role of dietary protein is less clear. Some studies suggest too much protein heightens fracture risk, in part by causing calcium to leach from the bones. But insufficient protein might also increase fracture risk by reducing bone mass.

In new research, Donna Thorpe and colleagues from Loma Linda University, California report that protein protects against wrist fracture in post-menopausal women (conference abstract P111). The study compared dietary preferences disclosed by 1,865 women during the mid-1970s, with their incidence of wrist fracture over the next 25 years. In what Thorpe describes as the study's strongest finding, high-protein vegetable sources--including nuts, beans, soy, and commercial vegetarian dishes--protected vegetarian women from wrist fracture. Therefore, Thorpe said, as long as vegetarian women get enough dietary protein, they won't increase their risk of osteoporosis, as some have suggested. Cheese and meat consumed three times a week or more were also found to be protective." As women age, they tend to eat less protein, so this study tells me we that we have to get sufficient dietary protein to those who are at high risk for fracture," Thorpe said.

Osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and break easily, is one of the world's most common and debilitating diseases. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in many cases, death. One out of three women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one out of five men 1, 2, 3.

Unfortunately, screening for people at risk is far from being a standard practice. Osteoporosis can, to a certain extent, be prevented, it can be easily diagnosed and effective treatments are available.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the only worldwide organization dedicated to the fight against osteoporosis. It brings together scientists, physicians, patient societies and corporate partners. Working with its 172 member societies in 85 locations, and other healthcare-related organizations around the world, IOF encourages awareness and prevention, early detection and improved treatment of osteoporosis.

1 Melton U, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C et al. How many women have osteoporosis? Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 1992; 7:1005-10
2 Kanis JA et al. Long-term risk of osteoporotic fracture in Malmo. Osteoporosis International, 2000; 11:669-674
3. Melton LJ, et al. Bone density and fracture risk in men. JBMR. 1998; 13:No 12:1915

IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, held every two years, is the only global congress dedicated specifically to all aspects of osteoporosis. Besides the opportunity to learn about the latest science and developments in diagnosis, treatment and the most recent socio-economic studies, participants have the chance to meet and exchange ideas with other physicians from around the world. All aspects of osteoporosis will be covered during the Congress which will comprise lectures by invited speakers presenting cutting edge research in the field, and 35 oral presentations and more than 680 poster presentations selected from 720 submitted abstracts. More than 70 Meet the Expert Sessions covering many practical aspects of diagnosis and management of osteoporosis are also on the program.

For more information on osteoporosis and IOF please visit: www.osteofound.org


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Osteoporosis Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

International Osteoporosis Foundation. "New Research Clarifies Roles Of Calcium, Vitamin D, And Protein In Bone Health, Fracture Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060605194723.htm>.
International Osteoporosis Foundation. (2006, June 5). New Research Clarifies Roles Of Calcium, Vitamin D, And Protein In Bone Health, Fracture Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060605194723.htm
International Osteoporosis Foundation. "New Research Clarifies Roles Of Calcium, Vitamin D, And Protein In Bone Health, Fracture Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060605194723.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

AFP (Oct. 19, 2014) Tens of thousands of runners battled thick smog at the Beijing Marathon on Sunday, with some donning masks as the levels of PM2.5 small pollutant particles soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins