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Considerable uncertainty exists regarding optimal intakes of calcium. This is reflected in markedly different recommended daily intakes in various countries [1]. A recent paper reports a study which was carried out in the United States among 4958 community-dwelling women and 5003 men aged 20 years or more [2]. According to the results, a higher calcium intake was significantly associated with higher bone density (p value for trend = 0.005) only for women with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] status below 50 nmol/l. Among men, there was no significant association between a higher calcium intake beyond the upper end of the lowest quartile (626 mg/day) and bone density within all 25(OH)D categories. Among both genders, bone density increased stepwise and significantly with higher 25(OH)D concentrations(< 50 nmol/l, 50–74 nmol/l, ≥ 75 nmol/l); for women, the p value for trend was < 0.0001, and for men, p = 0.0001.


  • Mark P. Brincat
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mater Dei Hospital, BKara Bypass, Malta
  • Jean Calleja-Agius
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mater Dei Hospital, BKara Bypass, Malta


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  2. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Kiel DP, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Dietary calcium and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status in relation to bone mineral density among US adults. J Bone Miner Res 2008;Dec 29 [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Blumsohn A, Herrington K, Hannon RA, Shao P, Eyre DR, Eastell R. The effect of calcium supplementation on the circadian rhythm of bone resorption. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1994;79:730-5.
  4. Shea B, Wells G, Cranney A, et al. Meta-analyses of therapies for postmenopausal osteoporosis. VII. Meta-analysis of calcium supplementation for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Endocr Rev 2002;23:552-9.
  5. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Baron JA, et al. Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86:1780-90.
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