Nutritional effect of calcium supplementation by skim milk powder or calcium tablets on total nutrient intake in postmenopausal women

A. Devine, Richard Prince, R. Bell

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of different types of calcium supplements on total nutrient intake has not been studied. The effect of dietary calcium supplementation (calcium tablets or skim milk powder) on nutrient intake in 64 postmenopausal women was studied in a 4-y longitudinal study consisting of 2 y of intervention and 2 y of follow-up. Subjects also received advice on how to reduce their consumption of high-fat and cholesterol-rich foods. Analysis of 4-d weighed diet records at 1 y showed that calcium intakes from the milk-powder supplement (1618 +/- 213 mg) and calcium tablets (1718 +/- 257 mg) were above recommended dietary intakes (RDI), and dietary fat intake and plasma cholesterol were significantly reduced compared with baseline values. The subjects supplemented with milk powder had higher intakes of several nutrients, including protein and zinc, compared with the subjects given calcium tablets. A greater proportion of subjects using the milk-powder supplement achieved greater than or equal to 70% of the RDI for zinc compared with tablet-supplemented subjects during the intervention study. Subjects were advised to continue with supplementation at the end of the intervention study. Thirty-nine subjects were available for follow-up. The mean (+/- SD) calcium intake for the milk-powder group (942 +/- 434 mg) was below the RDI and significantly lower than that of the calcium-tablet group (1346 +/- 512 mg). These data suggest that advice on dietary calcium supplementation and fat reduction had a beneficial effect on the nutrient intakes of postmenopausal women but compliance outside of a control trial by women taking calcium tablets was higher than that by women taking milk powder. Thus, strategies to encourage women to increase calcium intake can be introduced without significant deleterious effects on other aspects of the diet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-737
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue numberN/A
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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