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In spite of the existence of effective drug therapies for osteoporosis, increasing numbers of menopausal women prefer alternative therapies including dietary supplements of calcium, vitamin D or collagen for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Among them, dietary supplements containing calcium-collagen chelate (CC) have previously demonstrated that it may improve bone mineral density (BMD) and blood biomarkers of bone turnover in osteopenic, postmenopausal women in the short term. However, until now a lack of data on the long term has existed. Recently, Elam and colleagues reported the efficacy of CC in reducing bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia in a follow-up study of 12 months [1]. Thirty-nine women were randomly assigned to one of two groups: one receiving 5 g of CC containing 500 mg of elemental calcium and 200  IU vitamin D and the control group receiving 500 mg of calcium and 200 IU vitamin D daily. The study cohort (mean age 55.5 years) had osteopenia with a mean [i]T[/i]-score of -1.5. The authors assessed total body, lumbar, and hip BMD and bone turnover markers at baseline, 6 and 12 months. About 40% of recruited women dropped out at month 12, leaving only 10 and 12 women who completed the 1-year trial, respectively. The results discussed relate only to the completers, the compliant participants. The loss of whole body BMD in women taking CC was substantially lower than that of the control group at 12 months. The CC group had significantly reduced levels of sclerostin and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoform 5b (TRAP5b) ([i]p[/i] < 0.05), and higher bone-specific alkaline phosphatase/TRAP5b ratio ([i]p[/i] < 0.05) than the control group at 6 months. The authors conclude that their results support the use of CC in reducing bone loss in osteopenic postmenopausal women.


  • Camil Castelo-Branco
    Ob Gyn Senior Consultant, Hospital Clínic Barcelona, and Full Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain


  1. Elam ML, Johnson SA, Hooshmand S, et al. A calcium-collagen chelate dietary supplement attenuates bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia: a randomized controlled trial. J Med Food 2014 Oct 14. Epub ahead of print
  2. Martin-Bautista E, Martin-Matillas M, Martin-Lagos JA, et al. A nutritional intervention study with hydrolyzed collagen in prepubertal Spanish children: influence on bone modeling biomarkers. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2011;24:14753
  3. Cuneo F, Costa-Paiva L, Pinto-Neto AM, Morais SS, Amaya- Farfan J. Effect of dietary supplementation with collagen hydrolysates on bone metabolism of postmenopausal women with low mineral density. Maturitas 2010;65:2537
  4. Adam M, Spacek P, Hulejova H, Galianova A, Blahos J. Postmenopausal osteoporosis. Treatment with calcitonin and a diet rich in collagen proteins. Cas Lek Cesk 1996;135:748
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