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Calcium May Improve HDL Levels in Older Women


Calcium May Improve HDL Levels in Older Women

AUCKLAND, New Zealand--Calcium supplementation may increase a woman's level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good" cholesterol), according to a new study in the April American Journal of Medicine (112, 5:343-7, 2002) ( In a one-year, randomly assigned, placebo-controlled study, 223 postmenopausal women (average age of 72) who were not taking therapies for hyperlipidemia or osteoporosis received 1 g/d of calcium citrate. Researchers followed the women's levels of HDL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol) at baseline and at different intervals within the study.

After 12 months, HDL levels and the HDL/LDL ratio improved more in the calcium group than placebo group, largely due to a 7-percent increase in HDL levels. There was a slight, but insignificant, decline in LDL and triglyceride levels. Researchers, led by Ian Reid, M.D., reported that this issue warrants further study.

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