The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Calcium from diet or supplements: Does it matter?

    In postmenopausal women, calcium from dietary sources is associated with more favorable effects in bone health than calcium from supplements.

    First, the details.

    • The researchers asked 183 women to meticulously detail their diet and calcium supplement intake for a week, assuming it represented each woman’s typical diet.
    • The “diet group,” got at least 70% of their calcium from dairy products and other foods.
    • The “supplement group” got at least 70% of their daily calcium from tablets or pills.
    • The “diet plus supplement group,” fell somewhere in between these ranges.

    And, the results.

    • The “diet group” took in the least calcium — about 830 mg/day.
    • But they had higher bone density in their spines and hipbones than the “supplement group,” which consumed about 1,030 mg/day.
    • The “diet plus supplement group” had the highest calcium intake at 1,620 mg/day and the highest bone mineral density as well.
    • Also, women in the “diet group” and the “diet plus supplement group” had a higher ratio of active to inactive estrogen metabolites than women in the “supplement group.”

    The bottom line?
    “This suggests that dietary calcium is associated with a shift in estrogen metabolism that favors production of active forms of estrogen,” says Dr. Reina Armamento-Villareal from Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

    The exact reason for this response isn’t known. But, “dairy products, which are a major source of calcium, can contain active estrogenic compounds, and these can influence bone density.”

    6/23/07 21:05 JR

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