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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.



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