Study: Regular calcium doses lessen seniors' bone risks

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Seniors can reduce their risk for fractures or bone density loss if they take calcium supplements, or calcium and vitamin D together, researchers say. The key is conscientiously taking strong enough dosages.

Risk of fracture fell by as much as 25% for those who were diligent about consuming their supplements, according to investigators. They studied 29 randomized trials covering more than 63,000 people older than 50 to reach their findings. A combination of calcium and vitamin D supplements cut fracture risk by 12%.

The best effects were achieved with doses of 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 international units of vitamin D, said researchers, who reported their findings recently in the British medical journal The Lancet.

"Anyone over 50, especially postmenopausal women" should consult a physician about taking calcium supplementation, according to Dr. Benjamin M. P. Tang, a researcher at the University of Western Sydney in Australia and the study's lead author.