A randomized, prospective, double-blind test was carried out to compare the effects of heated oyster shell-seaweed calcium (AAA Ca), calcium carbonate, and placebo in 58 elderly, hospitalized women with the mean age of 80 divided into three groups. Group A received 900 mg/day Ca as AAA Ca, Group B 900 mg/day Ca as CaCO3, and Group C placebo besides regular hospital diet containing approximately 600 mg Ca/day for 24 months. From the 25th to the 30th month, all groups were given AAA Ca. Lumbar spine and radial bone mineral density (BMD) were measured at 3-month intervals. Urinary Ca/Cr and serum alkaline phosphatase, intact and midportion serum parathyroid hormone (PTH), and calcitonin were also measured at intervals. From the 6th to the 24th month of the study, the ratio of lumbar spine BMD (L2-L4 by DPX, Lunar) to the basal pretest value was consistently and significantly higher in Group A than Group C but not higher in Group B than in Group C. PTH, measured 12 months after the beginning of the study, was lower in Group A than in Group C, but no significant difference was found between Groups B and C. At 3 months after the placebo was switched to AAA Ca in Group C, serum PTH was significantly decreased from the level during placebo supplement. Morning urine Ca/Cr decreased in Groups A after 18 months and in B after 12 months, but not in C. Serum alkaline phosphatase decreased in Group A significantly compared with Group C, but not in Group B. AAA Ca appears to be effective for increasing BMD in elderly subjects.