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J Bone Miner Metab. 2004;22(1):32-8.

Reappraisal of Katsuragi calcium study, a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of active absorbable algal calcium (AAACa) on vertebral deformity and fracture.

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  • 1Katsuragi Hospital, 250 Makamicho, Kishiwada, Osaka, Japan. fujita@katsuragi-hosp.or.jp


A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of supplementation with 900 mg/day of calcium, as active absorbable algal calcium (AAA Ca) or calcium carbonate (CaCO(3)), on lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) carried out in elderly inpatients with osteoporosis at Katsuragi Hospital was re-evaluated in terms of the effects on vertebral fracture and spondylotic deformity. In addition to the already reported increase in lumbar BMD, AAA Ca was found to inhibit new occurrence of vertebral fracture. Intra-individual variations in L(1)-L(4) BMD (expressed by the coefficient of variation, indicating the degree of spondylotic deformity, were also inhibited significantly in the group supplemented with AAA Ca (group A), but not in group B (supplemented with CaCO(3)), from the level in the placebo-supplement group (group C) after 18 months of supple-mentation. According to whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) results in the first and second year of the study, whole body mass, lean content, and mineral content, expressed as a percentage of whole body mass, stayed unchanged, while increase of fat content was significantly inhibited in group A, but not in group B, from the level in group C. As to the regional distribution of bone mineral content, the second year/first year value for head bone mineral content was significantly decreased with AAA supplementation compared with placebo, but no significant difference was found between CaCO(3) and placebo supplementation. Changes in mineral distribution in the arms, trunk, and legs showed no significant differences among the three groups. In addition to increasing BMD and preventing fracture, AAA Ca, but not CaCO(3), appears to inhibit the occurrence of spondylotic deformity and to decrease body fat content.

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