Bone health

Robert P. Heaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Much evidence indicates that both calcium and vitamin D are efficacious in protecting the skeleton, particularly when these 2 nutrients are used in combination. Each nutrient is necessary for the full expression of the effect of the other, and where their actions are independent, their effects on skeletal health are complementary. Nutrient status for both tends to be deficient in the adult population of the industrialized nations. Hence, supplementation or food fortification with both nutrients is appropriate and, given contemporary diets and sun exposure, probably necessary. Various meta-analyses, systematic evidence reviews, and controlled trials evaluating these 2 nutrients will be defective if they fail 1) to take into consideration the nearly universal need to augment the status of both nutrients in the populations studied rather than just one or the other, 2) to consider the threshold characteristics of both nutrients, and 3) to use the achieved serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration as the independent variable for vitamin D effects (instead of oral vitamin D intake). Problems with adherence to a regimen of taking supplements daily make an appropriate fortification strategy the preferred option for improving the status of both nutrients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300S-303S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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