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J Nutr Health Aging. 2012;16(9):743-8. doi: 10.1007/s12603-012-0071-7.

The protective effect of calcium on bone mass in postmenopausal women with high selenium intake.

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Metabolic Bone Diseases Research Group. University of Extremadura, Nursing School, Caceres, Spain.



Nutritional factors, especially the two essential nutrients calcium and vitamin D, have been shown to play an important role in bone health. We wanted to determine the possible protective effect of calcium intake in adequate amounts on bone mass as assessed by quantitative ultrasound in postmenopausal women who also have a high intake of selenium.


Health district of Cáceres, Spain. PARTICIPANTS AND STUDY DESIGN: 335 postmenopausal women aged 60.9 (SD = 8.1) years. Women were stratified based on the vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium intake and the calcium/protein and calcium/phosphorous index.


Bone status (Ad-SoS measured at the phalanges) was assessed with an ultrasound device model DBM Sonic 1200R. Food intake was quantified using dietetic scales, measuring cups, and spoons based on 7 days of diet records. Urine samples were collected the morning of testing after an overnight fast. Venous blood samples for the hematological and biochemical studies were also obtained in the fasting state.


In the group of women with Ca intake < 800 mg / d we found a significant and negative relationship between Ad-SoS with age (β= -4.020, F = 23.327) and selenium intake (β = -0.419, F = 10.067), as well as a positive relationship with Ca intake (β= 0.104 and F = 7.084) (p <0.0001 in all). In the group of women with Ca intake > 800 mg / d, age has a significant and negative relationship (β = -4.829 and F = 106.745), whereas folic acid intake has a significant and positive relationship (β = 0.047 and F = 5.858) (p <0.0001 in both).


Elevated selenium intake negatively affects bone mass measurements in postmenopausal women over the age of 51 but only if calcium intake is also less than 800 mg / day. When calcium intake is greater than 800 mg/day, selenium did not appear to affect bone mass.

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