Can calcium, or calcium in combination with vitamin D, be used to prevent fracture and osteoporotic bone loss?

From: The Lancet

Journal rating:
rating: 100%
Study Quality:
rating: 100%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 5%
rating: 75%


  • 29 trials with 63,897 participants.


  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.


  • Treatment was associated with a 12% risk reduction in fractures of all types.
  • Treatment was associated with a reduced rate of bone loss of 0.54% at the hip and 1.19% in the spine.
  • The fracture risk reduction was significantly greater (24%) in trials in where the compliance rate was high.
  • The treatment effect was better with calcium doses of 1200 mg or more than with doses less than 1200 mg, and with vitamin D doses of 800 IU or more than with doses less than 800 IU.


  • Yes (with confidence)


Editors Notes

  • The authors conclude that for the best therapeutic effect, they recommend minimum doses of 1200 mg of calcium, and 800 IU of vitamin D (for combined calcium plus vitamin D supplementation).