Calcium and vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis - a clinical update

J Intern Med. 2006 Jun;259(6):539-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2006.01655.x.


Combined calcium and vitamin D supplementation is an essential component of the management of osteoporosis, supported by a strong scientific rationale. The types of individuals who should receive calcium and vitamin D supplements are those: (i) patients with documented osteoporosis receiving antiresorptive or anabolic treatment; (ii) patients receiving glucocorticoids; and (iii) individuals with or at high risk of calcium and/or vitamin D insufficiencies, in particular older women and men. This article describes the evidence base that supports targeting these groups. Benefits are most apparent when 800 IU day(-1) vitamin D is complemented with a dose of 1000-1200 mg day(-1) elemental calcium. Compliance is also key to optimizing clinical efficacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Patient Selection
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium