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Originally published August 27 2008

Calcium and Vitamin D Proven to Stop Bone Loss in Men

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Increased intake of calcium and vitamin D can help prevent or slow bone loss in men, according to a pair of studies conducted by researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.

An estimated 75 million women and men in the United States, Europe and Japan suffer from osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become thin and brittle.

Prior research has demonstrated that both calcium and vitamin D are important for the bone health of women, who are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. In a 2006 study published in the journal Bone, scientists also found that older men who drank fortified milk daily experienced a 1.8 percent increase in the bone mineral density of their hip bones and a 1.5 percent increase in the density of their wrist bones.

The fortified milk contained 500 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D3, as well as other vitamins and minerals. The researchers noted that because the participants were given fortified milk instead of individual vitamin supplements, it was not possible to determine whether the bone density increase came from the calcium, the vitamin D, both, or some combination of those nutrients with others found in the milk.

The researchers also noted that while calcium intake was higher in participants who drank fortified milk than in control participants, this difference was not statistically significant.

In a more recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers followed up with 109 of the original study participants 18 months after that study's conclusion. During that time, the participants had not been provided with fortified milk, but the bone-density improvements from the first study were still apparent.

The researchers suggested that supplementation of milk with calcium and vitamin D3, as is done in Canada, could lead to long-term bone health benefits for older men.

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