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Blog: MenoPause ~ take time to think about it

  • Calcium and vitamin D help hormones help bones

    by Margery Gass | Jul 15, 2013
    Really? The answer keeps changing, but a new analysis from the major Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial supports the use of supplements—at least for women taking hormones after menopause.

    The supplements and hormones in the WHI study had a synergistic effect. Women using both therapies had much greater protection against hip fractures than with either therapy alone. These results suggest that women taking postmenopausal hormone therapy should also take supplemental calcium and vitamin D. Although they couldn’t specify how much, authors noted that the benefits seem to increase with increasing total intake of calcium and vitamin D. The dose will depend on keeping side effects, such as constipation from too much calcium, to a minimum.

    That differs from the recommendation of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), made earlier this year. USPSTF stated there was no basis for recommending calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures. But now, with a study this large, there may well be.

    Go comment!
  • The jury is still out on calcium supplements

    by Margery Gass | Aug 16, 2012

    Recently, women trying to keep their bones healthy by taking calcium supplements got what seemed like bad news. Last May, a widely reported study linked calcium supplements with an increased risk of heart attack. Then in June, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) put out a draft recommendation on calcium and vitamin D supplements that did not send a positive message. Women started calling their menopause practitioners asking if they should stop taking their supplements. But only days later, another widely publicized study concluded that calcium and vitamin D supplementation cut the risk of death.

    So who’s right? Well, maybe that’s the wrong question because, even though these events made big news, we can’t draw firm conclusions yet. So don’t stop taking your calcium supplement just yet. Perhaps take a cue from the conclusion that the National Osteoporosis Foundation drew from this and much more research—that you try to meet your daily calcium needs through diet first and take a calcium supplement if you aren’t getting enough.

    Go comment!

MenoPause: the blog!

Posts to our Blog are written by NAMS staff members and Dr. Margery Gass. All posts are reviewed and edited by Dr. Gass. We strive to bring you the most recent and interesting information about various aspect of menopause and midlife health. We accept no advertising for our website. We want you to have accurate, unbiased, evidence-based information. 

Margery L.S. Gass, MD, NCMP
NAMS Executive Director

An internationally recognized leader in the field of menopause, Dr. Gass became Executive Director of The North American Menopause Society in 2010. Dr. Gass has been an investigator on numerous research projects, including serving as a principal investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative, and has published and presented on a wide range of topics related to menopause, including osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, and hormone therapy.

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