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Bones & aging.

Taking both calcium and vitamin D supplements can curb bone loss and cut the risk of broken bones in healthy older people, says a new study from the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

Bess Dawson-Hughes and colleagues studied 176 men and 213 women who were 65 or older and living at home. On average, they were 71 years old and consumed roughly 700 milligrams of calcium and 200 International Units (IU) of vitamin D a day from their food. Each was given a daily dose of 500 mg of calcium plus 700 IU of vitamin D or a (lookalike but inactive) placebo.

After three years, the calcium-and-vitamin-D group had lost less bone than the placebo group. What's more, the seniors on supplements had 50 percent fewer fractures.

"People over 65 who don't consume three or four low-fat dairy products a day should consider taking a supplement to bring their total intake to 1,200 mg of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D each day," says Dawson-Hughes. "That goes for both men and women."
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Title Annotation:Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center study recommends taking calcium and vitamin D to reduce bone loss
Author:Liebman, Bonnie
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 1997
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