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Need to combine calcium with phosphorus in osteoporosis treatment

A new research study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (June, 2002) demonstrates that osteoporosis patients should receive their calcium in the form of calcium phosphate, says the distributor of the Posture-D supplement, Inverness Medical Innovations.

The study shows that, as calcium intake increases without a corresponding increase in phosphorus, total phosphorus absorption falls and the risk for phosphorus deficiency rises. Phosphorus deficiency may render calcium supplementation less effective and could actually lead to increased bone loss.

Nearly 50 million American women are phosphorus deficient. Studies show that the incidence of phosphorus deficiency increases with age. These low intake levels could jeopardize bone-building therapies in post- menopausal, osteoporotic women. Individuals with low phosphorus intake are at an increased risk for low bone mass and fractures.

Two facts prompted the study. First is the emergence of therapies for osteoporosis that require high doses of calcium in order to achieve an increase in bone mineral density. Second, such therapies are often concentrated in older patients who tend to have the lowest dietary intake of phosphorus. Since the high doses of calcium citrate or calcium carbonate used in calcium co-therapy can bind up to 500mg of phosphorus in the body, calcium co-therapy carries the risk of inducing phosphorus deficiency in patients with low dietary phosphorus intake.

Human bone is not made of calcium alone -- it is made of calcium phosphate. In fact, phosphorus accounts for approximately half of bone mass mineral. And while calcium consumption in the United States has increased substantially over the past decade, few supplements or food fortificants contain phosphorus.

Posted: June 2002

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