Bone FractureCalciumChildren

Calcium supplements of little benefit to children

A review of 19 studies involving more than 2800 healthy children concluded that calcium supplementation is unlikely to reduce the risk of fracture, either in childhood or later life.

What should we make of this finding when we all know how important calcium is to making strong bones?

It’s true that calcium plays an important structural role in the development and maintenance of bone tissue. And approximately 50% of the calcium in adult bones is laid down during adolescence. So this is a critical time for calcium intake.

As stated in another review, “Adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass.”

However, “Perhaps more than focusing on supplements, a well-rounded diet including low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables and appropriate physical activity are important for achieving good bone health. Establishing these practices in childhood is important so that they will be followed throughout the life span.”

10/12/06 21:35 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.