Calcium protects women on the pill

Women who take oral contraceptives can counteract bone loss by making sure they get enough calcium, especially early in life, according to Purdue University research.

“It’s estimated that eight out of 10 women in the US use oral contraceptives at some time during the years in which peak bone mass is developing,” said Purdue’s Dorothy Teegarden. “The results of our study suggest that the loss for this group can be prevented by increasing calcium intake.”

The study found that women using oral contraceptives and consuming higher amounts of calcium gained significantly more bone mineral density in their hips and spines compared to those consuming lower amounts.

“Many women who are using oral contraceptives in their peak bone-development years could reduce their risk of osteoporosis by approximately 3% to 10% over one year by making sure they get enough calcium in their diet,” Teegarden said. “This demonstrates the importance of calcium intake, either by getting enough dairy or with supplements.”

Source: Purdue University, Aug 17, 2005