6 November 2009: A study led by Dr David Greene, Lecturer in Exercise Science at Australian Catholic University, has shown that calcium and vitamin D supplements improve bone health in young girls.
The six-month study involved 20 pairs of identical twin girls aged between 9 and 12-years-old, who were randomly assigned to receive either the calcium and vitamin D tablets, or a matched placebo.
Dr Greene said the results of the study showed that the supplements improved measures of bone mineral density, bone mineral content and bone strength in these girls. To ensure accurate test results, genetic influences were factored out.
These results are particularly important as young women accumulate bone mass most rapidly during adolescence, he said.
Therefore ideal skeletal development can only be achieved when adequate dietary intakes of calcium and vitamin D supplement physical activity during this period, he added.
Maximising bone strength during the growing years is also essential in order to offset the effects of osteoporosis in later life.