Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Calcium pills effective for boosting bone health in teenage girls

Calcium is without a doubt important for the bones. But this study says that it's important to take calcium during puberty, when the bones reach their peak mass before it slowly diminishes with age; otherwise, the benefits disappear. Bottomline: take calcium supplements early, and stick to it for continuous benefits.

Click here.

Supplements of calcium effectively increased the build up and bone mineral content in teenage girls, but the benefits are undone if the supplementation stops, suggests a new study. An 18-month randomised trial found that a daily 792 mg calcium supplement boosted bone mineral content in girls, report the researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Moreover, the researchers from the University of Sheffield report that bone turnover also, measured using parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, and markers of bone resorption (weakening of the bone) also decreased as a result of the intervention.

"Calcium supplementation enhances bone mineral accrual in teenage girls, but the effect is short-lived," wrote lead author Helen Lambert.

At the end of 18 months, the bone mineral content (BMC) in the girls receiving the calcium supplements was greater at all skeletal sites except the hip. Moreover, bone mineral density (BMD) was significantly greater compared to the control group.

The girls were then followed for another two years after the end of supplementation, and the researchers report that "gains in BMC and BMD and differences in bone resorption were no longer evident."

Commenting on the mechanism, Lambert and co-workers proposed that the mineral most likely worked by suppressing bone turnover. These effects were then reversed once supplementation was discontinued.

Calcium is reported to be the biggest seller in the US supplements industry. Annual sales were about $993m (€836m) in 2004, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.

Of course, while taking calcium, it's important to take vitamin D for excellent calcium absorption in the gut, and magnesium to balance calcium, and vitamin c to promote collagen formation in the bones. Also, do not neglect physical activity. The more your stress your bones the stronger it becomes.

No comments:

My Bioscanner

BioScanner in CNBC