Bone FractureCalcium

Bad news for calcium supplements

This review by the Cochrane Collaboration of 19 clinical trials in almost 3000 children treated with calcium or placebo reveals that bone mineral density (BMD) increases the same amount in the hip and spine whether children take calcium supplements or placebo.

Calcium increased the BMD in the arm and in the total body a small amount more than placebos did. But once children stopped taking calcium, this increase only persisted in the arm.

No difference in response was seen based on age, gender, race, stage of puberty, physical activity, how much children took or how long they took the calcium supplements. Furthermore, taking calcium supplements was not better for a child who did not eat enough calcium in their diet compared to those who did.

The bottom line is that calcium supplements may not help enough to build stronger bones in children to lower the risk of breaking a bone.

7/13/06 23:29 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.