Why was this study done?

The loss of calcium from bones and the resultant osteoporosis represents a major health problem for the elderly. Understanding the many factors that might reduce or reverse bone loss is of primary importance for long term health maintenance. This study was designed to compare three different interventions: supplemental vitamin D (400 IU) and calcium (1450 mg), a multivitamin, and dietary guidance (high calcium/vitamin D diet) and their effects on bone mass over three years.

What did the study find?

All three strategies (vitamin D/calcium, multivitamin, dietary changes) has similar effects on bone mass by the end of three years of study.

Long-term effects of nutrient intervention on markers of bone remodeling and calciotropic hormones in late-postmenopausal women.
Authors: Jensen C, Holloway L, Block G, Spiller G, Gildengorin G, Gunderson E, Butterfield G, Marcus R.Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jun;75(6):1114-20.
PubMed Citation, PMID: 12036821.
PDF Manuscript: Am J Clin Nutr 2002.