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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jul;66(7):856-61. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.54. Epub 2012 May 30.

High-calcium, vitamin D fortified milk is effective in improving bone turnover markers and vitamin D status in healthy postmenopausal Chinese women.

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Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.



Risk for developing osteoporosis increases in Asia. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of a high-calcium vitamin D fortified milk (HCM) intervention on parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, vitamin D status and markers of bone turnover in postmenopausal Chinese women.


Sixty three women (>55 years) were assigned to receive two servings of either a calcium/vitamin D fortified milk or a control drink for 12 weeks. PTH, serum 25 (OH)D levels, C-telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) levels and procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide (PINP) were measured at baseline, 2, 8 and 12 weeks of supplementation.


Daily calcium intake at baseline ranged between 260 and 482 mg for the HCM, and 252 and 692 mg for the control group. HCM improved serum 25 (OH)D levels significantly (33.13-39.49 nmol/l), while remaining similar in the control group (29.27-28.21 nmol/l). The difference between the groups were significant at week 2, 8 and 12. The percentage change in PTH levels in the HCM group was significant from week 2 onwards compared to the control drink (P<0.017, P<0.05 and P<0.001 at weeks 2, 8 and 12, respectively). Plasma CTX of the HCM group reduced by 25% between weeks 0 and 2, remaining significantly lower and at similar levels up to week 12. The difference between the HCM and control group for PINP reached significance at weeks 8 (P=0.011) and 12 (P=0.003).


The HCM intervention significantly improved vitamin D status and reduced bone turnover over 12 weeks in postmenopausal Chinese women.

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