Introduction: Epidemiological studies suggest that calcium supplementation may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Methods: Since the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and CRP production is potentially responsive to parathyroid hormone, we measured high-sensitivity CRP at baseline and 12 months in a subset of healthy postmenopausal women participating in a randomized controlled trial of the effects of 1 g of calcium daily on the incidence of fractures.
Results: At baseline, we found that CRP correlated positively with indices of body weight and fat and with bone mineral density (BMD) at the total body and total hip sites, but the associations between CRP and BMD were lost after adjustment for body weight. There were consistent associations between levels of CRP and markers of the metabolic syndrome (fat mass, plasma triglycerides, fasting glucose).
Conclusion: After 1 year of calcium supplementation, there was no difference between the groups in levels of CRP. We conclude that levels of CRP correlate with anthropometric and biochemical features of insulin resistance, but that they are neither predictive of BMD nor affected by 1 g of calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women.