Features February 2008 Issue

Calcium for Bone Health: Diet, Pill, or Both?

If you arenít consuming sufficient levels of dietary calcium, consider a supplement. Hereís what to look for.

Among people over age 60, the most common result of calcium deficiency is osteoporosis, a condition marked by increasingly weakened bones and elevated risk of fracture, says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. Each year, an estimated 1.5 million broken bones, including 300,000 hip fractures, occur in the U.S. as a consequence of osteoporosis. "The condition is especially prevalent in postmenopausal women," she says. "Older women experience hormonal changes that diminish their ability to absorb calcium and use it efficiently."

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