Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Calcium and vitamin D increases bone density

It is well known (and well proven) that an increase in calcium and vitamin D increases bone density in the short term. Such studies are based on false logic:

First premise: Consuming greater calcium and vitamin D increases bone density.

Second premise: Greater bone density protects bones by making them stronger.

Third premise: By making bones denser and stronger you reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

This perverse logic is often found in so called ‘scientific studies’. When you increase bone density by consuming more calcium and vitamin D, it does not follow that this protects bones. The above second and third premises are based on false logic. Whenever you increase bone density you use up (i.e. erode) bone-making cells. The body has a finite number of bone-making cells. So when you increase bone density through greater calcium and vitamin consumption, you erode your finite reservoir of bone-making cells. This in turn increases the risk of osteoporosis.

Below is a good example of a so-called ‘study’ that shows how calcium and vitamin D increase bone density.

Title: Calcium- and Vitamin D3-Fortified Milk Reduces Bone Loss at Clinically Relevant Skeletal Sites in Older Men: A 2-Year Randomized Controlled Trial. Robin Daly, et al.

Published online 19 Dec. 06

Source: J Bone Miner Res 2006;21:397-405.

Summary: In this 2-year randomized controlled study of 167 men aged over 50, calcium and vitamin D3-fortified milk was provided, giving an additional 1000 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day. It was found that supplementing the diet of men over 50 with reduced-fat milk that was fortified with calcium- and vitamin D3 provides a ‘nutritionally sound and cost-effective strategy to reduce age-related bone loss at several skeletal sites at risk for fracture in the elderly.’

This disgraceful Study is yet another example of misguided disinformation. It is well known that in the short term an increase in calcium and vitamin D increases bone density, but this comes at a terrible price. The study erroneously concludes (without any scientific evidence) that this is a ‘nutritionally sound strategy to reduce age-related bone loss.’ Nothing could be further from the truth, and the researchers should hang their heads in shame.

The best strategy for elderly people at risk of osteoporosis is to avoid dairy milk (particularly if it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D) as this erodes precious bone-making cells. To learn how best to protect your bones go to

1 comment:

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