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Calcium, Vitamin D Exceed Expectations for Young Women Athletes

A new study shows that calcium and vitamin D protect highly active young women against stress fractures, which are frequent problems for women military recruits and athletes. Researchers found that 2,000 Mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D daily reduced stress fractures in young women naval recruits by 27%, after only two months.

Approximately 20 percent of young women athletes and military recruits in their teens and twenties suffer stress fractures, prior studies have found. The injuries require six to eight weeks to heal and can sometimes become chronic problems.

Researchers were amazed at how quickly the calcium supplements produced benefits. Frankly, we were not sure we would see any statistically significant results in only eight weeks,” said principal investigator Joan Lappe, a professor of nursing and medicine at Creighton University.

1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 IUs of vitamin D are recommended for women aged 19 to 50, but young women often fail to meet these dosages, the AP reports.

Sources:

AP 2/13; Creighton University press release 2/12; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (

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