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Calcium supplements in the prevention of steroid-induced osteoporosis

Calcium supplements in the prevention of steroid-induced osteoporosis

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 44(2): 287-290

The long-term use of glucocorticoid drugs frequently results in the development of osteoporosis. To assess the value of calcium supplementation in preventing this loss of bone, the metabolic effects of administering 1 g of elemental calcium/day have been studied in 13 steroid-treated patients. After 2 mo, the fasting urine hydroxyproline-creatinine ratio decreased from 27.1 plus or minus 2.5 (SEM) to 21.8 plus or minus 2.4 (p less than 0.001) and there was an increase in fasting urine-calcium excretion (p less than 0.05). Serum alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin showed no change. We concluded that calcium supplementation suppresses bone resorption without detectable suppression of indices of bone formation and is, therefore, likely to result in increased bone mass. The safety and low cost of calcium make it a very suitable prophylactic agent in glucocorticoid-treated patients.(author)

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Accession: 001311579

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PMID: 3728366

DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/44.2.287

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