Horm Metab Res 2002; 34(1): 44-47
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-19967
Original Clinical

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Dose and Timing of Calcium Supplementation on Bone Resorption in Early Menopausal Women

F.  Scopacasa 1 , A.  G.  Need 1 , M.  Horowitz 2 , J.  M.  Wishart 2 , H.  A.  Morris 1 , B.  E.  C.  Nordin 1
  • 1 Division of Clinical Biochemistry, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • 2 Department of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Further Information

Publication History

21 March 2001

30 August 2001

Publication Date:
14 August 2002 (online)


Bone resorption follows a circadian rhythm that peaks at night, reflecting the circadian rhythm of serum parathyroid hormone. Our previous studies in early postmenopausal women have established that 1000 mg of calcium given at 9 p. m. reduced bone resorption markers overnight, but not during the day. In contrast, 1000 mg given as a divided dose (500 mg doses at 9 a. m. and 9 p. m. each) reduced bone resorption markers during the day, but not during the night. We have now evaluated the effect of 1500 mg of calcium given as a divided dose of 500 mg in the morning and 1000 mg in the evening on bone resorption. We studied 26 healthy women (median age 56 years) whose menopause was less than five years before. On two days, urine was collected from 9 a. m. to 9 p. m. (day collection), and from 9 p. m. to 9 a. m. (night collection); a further fasting (spot) urine sample was obtained at 9 a. m. at the end of the night collection. On the second day, 500 mg of calcium in the carbonate form was taken at 9 a. m. (at the start of the collection) and a further 1000 mg at 9 p. m. (at the start of the second night collection). Calcium supplementation decreased urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPyr/Cr) during the day (p = 0.08) and night (p < 0.05), as well as urinary pyridinoline (Pyr/Cr) both by day (p < 0.05) and night (p < 0.001). There were also decreases in urine hydroxyproline. We conclude that the acute administration of 500 mg of calcium in the morning and 1000 mg in the evening to early postmenopausal women suppresses bone resorption markers during both the day and night.


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F. Scopacasa

Division of Clinical Biochemistry · Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science

PO Box 14 Rundle Mall · Adelaide 5000, South Australia · Australia

Phone: + 61 (8) 8222 3000

Fax: + 61 (8) 8222 3538

Email: franca.scopacasa@adelaide.edu.au