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J Endocrinol Invest. 1999 Dec;22(11):852-6.

Importance of bioavailable calcium drinking water for the maintenance of bone mass in post-menopausal women.

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Istituto di Clinica Medica Generale e Terapia Medica, Università di Parma, Italy.


The aim of this research was to establish the importance of calcium intake through mineral water on vertebral bone density in women. To this purpose, we examined 255 women divided into two groups: those regularly drinking a high calcium content mineral water (group A; no.=175) and those using different type of water with a lower calcium content (group B; no.=80). Their dietary daily calcium intake was determined by means of a validated questionnaire (N.I.H. Consensus statement) and vertebral bone density was measured by Dual-Energy X-ray absorptiometry (Unigamma-plus ACN densitometer). Women in group A ingested a significantly higher quantity of calcium in water than women in group B (mean difference 258 mg; 95% confidence limits: 147-370 mg). The average bone density values were slightly but significantly higher in group A as compared to group B (mean+/-SD: 1.044+0,15 vs 1.002+0,14; p=0.03). In addition to age, BMI and menopausal status, calcium intake was a significant predictor of spinal BMD. These 4 variables explained about 35% of the spinal BMD variance. When the analysis was repeated separately for pre- and post-menopausal subjects, calcium remained a significant predictor in post-menopausal women (t=2.28; p=0.02), but not in premenopausal women. These results underline the importance of a lifelong daily calcium intake, resulting by the regular drinking of high bioavailable calcium water, in order to maintain bone mass after the menopause, in comparison to the use of a lower content calcium water.

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