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BREAKING MEDICAL NEWS October 2, 2006

Calcium Supplements Fail to Improve Children's Bone Health

October 2, 2006

A new analysis shows little benefit to using calcium supplements to improve bone health in children. Nineteen randomized controlled trials were reviewed to determine the effectiveness of calcium supplementation for improving bone mineral density in children. Supplementation had no effect on the bone mineral density in the neck or spine and caused only a small increase in the density of the upper limb, equivalent to a 1.7 percentage increase in the supplemented group compared with the control. No lasting effect of supplementation was seen in the one study that reported total body density after supplementation stopped.

Winzenberg T, Shaw K, Fryer J, Jones G. Effects of calcium supplementation on bone density in healthy children: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMJ [serial online]. Sept. 15, 2006. Available at: http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/ . Accessed Sept. 29, 2006.

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