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The Rate of Bone Mineral Loss in Normal Men and the Effects of Calcium and Cholecalciferol Supplementation

Eric S. Orwoll, MD; Shelia K. Oviatt; Michael R. McClung, MD; Leonard J. Deftos, MD; and Gary Sexton, PhD
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant Support: By the National Dairy Council, the Bureau of Veterans Affairs, and the Clinical Research Center Branch of the National Institutes of Health.

Requests for Reprints: Eric S. Orwoll, MD, Medical Services (111), Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, P.O. Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Orwoll: Medical Services (111), Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, P.O. Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207.

Ms. Oviatt and Dr. Sexton: Oregon Health Sciences University (L346 for Ms. Oviatt, L465 for Dr. Sexton), 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., Portland, OR 97207.

Dr. McClung: Providence Medical Center, 4805 NE Glisan, Portland, OR 97213.

Dr. Deftos: Endocrine Section (V111C), San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 3350 LaJolla Village Dr., San Diego, CA 92161.


Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(1):29-34. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-112-1-29
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Objective: To determine the rate of bone loss in normal men, and to examine the effects of dietary calcium and cholecalciferol supplementation on bone loss in men.

Design: Double-blinded, placebo-controlled 3-year trial of supplementation with calcium (1000 mg/d) and cholecalciferol (25 µg/d).

Setting: Clinical research center at a university medical facility.

Subjects: Normal men 30 to 87 years old, recruited from the Portland community.

Measurements and Main Results: Radial bone mineral content (assessed by single-photon absorptiometry) fell by 1.0%/y (95% CI, —1.3% to 0.7%) at a proximal radial site and 1.0%/y (95% CI, —1.4% to —0.6%) at a distal radial site. Vertebral bone mineral content (assessed by dual-energy quantitative computed tomography) declined by 2.3%/y (95% CI, —2.8% to -1.8%). In these healthy men with a high basal dietary calcium intake (1159 mg/d), calcium and cholecalciferol supplementation did not affect bone loss at any site.

Conclusions: Normal men experience a substantial bone loss at both axial and appendicular sites that is not prevented by calcium and vitamin D supplementation in a well-nourished population.

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