Calcium in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

R. P. HEANEY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Osteoporotic fractures have many sources. Low bone mass is one such, and inadequate calcium intake, in turn, is one of the causes of low bone mass. Calcium intake may be inadequate because it is low in its own right or, even if ‘normal’, it may not be sufficient to compensate for exaggerated obligatory losses. Inadequate calcium intake may cause bone mass to be low either because calcium intake during growth limits achievement of genetically programmed skeletal mass, or because low intake later in life aggravates involutional loss, or both. Ensuring a generous calcium intake throughout life will prevent both of these consequences. However, it is important to stress that even a calcium surfeit will not prevent or reverse bone loss due to inactivity, gonadal hormone deficiency, alcohol abuse or, indeed, any other factor. Calcium is a nutrient, not a drug. The only disorder it can be expected to alleviate is calcium deficiency. However, the evidence suggests that calcium deficiency is prevalent among Western populations, particularly in North America, and that it thereby contributes substantially to their osteoporotic fracture burden. This component of that burden is therefore entirely preventable. 1992 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Volume231
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

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Osteoporosis
Calcium
Bone and Bones
Osteoporotic Fractures
Gonadal Hormones
North America
Alcoholism
Food
Growth
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Calcium in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. / HEANEY, R. P.

In: Journal of Internal Medicine, Vol. 231, No. 2, 1992, p. 169-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

HEANEY, R. P. / Calcium in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In: Journal of Internal Medicine. 1992 ; Vol. 231, No. 2. pp. 169-180.
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