Ok, let me rephrase that. It seems that vitamin D is actually more beneficial than calcium to preventing osteo-injuries like bone fractures in female athletes and osteoporosis and osteopenia in older women. Below is an abstract from some research done, earlier this year. It seem that having adequate vitamin D, is as much if not more beneficial as increasing calcium. Probably because of vitamin D’s ability to help you absorb more calcium. I’m not saying don’t get your calcium, all I’m saying is make sure you get plenty of vitamin D as well.
So how do you get more vitamin D?
Most dairy products these days are fortified with Vitamin D. You can even take a vitamin D supplement. These are not ideal however, because the main source of Vitamin D in supplements and fortified dairy is vitamin D2. This type of vitamin D is not well absorbed by the body. The most easily absorbed form is vitamin D3! D3 is found mostly in animals (primarily fish) and is also found in our own bodies! We produce D3 when our skin is exposed to sunlight! This means you need to eat more fish and get some sun! Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think going out and burning yourself up is a good idea. However, I DO think that getting around 30 minutes of sun everyday will help you keep a decent skin tone AND get a reasonable amount of the vitamin D3 that you need!
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Vitamin D, Calcium, and Dairy Intakes and Stress Fractures Among Female Adolescents.
Department of Medicine (Drs Sonneville, Gordon, and Field and Ms Pierce) and Departments of Endocrinology (Dr Gordon) and Orthopedic Surgery (Dr Kocher), Children’s Hospital Boston, and Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Dr Field), Harvard Medical School, and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Field), Harvard University, and Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Dr Ramappa), Boston, Massachusetts.
To identify whether calcium, vitamin D, and/or dairy intakes are prospectively associated with stress fracture risk among female adolescents.
Prospective cohort study.
Adolescent girls living throughout the United States.
A total of 6712 girls aged 9 to 15 years at baseline in the Growing Up Today Study, an ongoing prospective cohort study. Main Exposures Dairy, calcium, and vitamin D intakes assessed by food frequency questionnaire every 12 to 24 months between 1996 and 2001. Main Outcome Measure Incident stress fracture that occurred between 1997 and 2004 as reported by mothers of the participants in 2004. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine associations.
During 7 years of follow-up, 3.9% of the girls developed a stress fracture. Dairy and calcium intakes were unrelated to risk of developing a stress fracture. However, vitamin D intake was inversely related to stress fracture risk. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio of stress fracture for the highest vs the lowest quintile of vitamin D intake was 0.49 (95% CI, 0.24-1.01; P(trend) = .07). We conducted a stratified analysis to estimate the association between vitamin D intake and stress fracture risk among girls participating in at least 1 h/d of high-impact activity, among whom 90.0% of the stress fractures occurred, and found that higher vitamin D intake predicted significantly lower risk of stress fracture (P(trend) = .04).
Vitamin D intake is associated with lower stress fracture risk among adolescent girls who engage in high levels of high-impact activity. Neither calcium intake nor dairy intake was prospectively associated with stress fracture risk.