Working out to Supplement Your Supplement

Vitamin D, calcium supplements do not appear to benefit men against osteoporosis

(RxWiki News) While widely touted as osteoporosis preventive must-haves, extra calcium and vitamin D in men do not appear to prevent bone thinning.

According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, exercising, however, does appear to boost bone density.

In spite of the findings, the researchers said both men and women need plenty of vitamin D, calcium, exercise and possibly medication to prevent bone fractures.

The study followed men ages 59 to 70 who were randomly assigned to one of four groups: one of which included an exercise program; one whose participants drank milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D; one whose participants did both; and one control group who did nothing. Bone density was measured both before and after the 18-month study.

At the end of the study, men who exercised exhibited more bone density than those who supplemented their diet with 1000 milligrams of calcium and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D in milk per day. The men were shown to have enough calcium and vitamin D in their diets to boost bone strength through exercise alone.

Although osteoporosis is more prevalent in women, men are also at risk. About seven percent of osteoporosis patients (40 million U.S. adults in all) are white males and about five percent are black males.

A total of 600 IU (800 IU for older adults) of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams per day of calcium is recommended for individuals, according to the National Institute of Health.

Review Date: 
January 31, 2011