Magazine article Work & Family Life

Quick. . .Name Two Bone-Building Minerals

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Quick. . .Name Two Bone-Building Minerals

Article excerpt

Calcium comes to mind first, of course. But another key mineral for building and strengthening bones is iron-and it may be even more important than we realized.

Scientists at Columbia University and the Universities of Arizona and Arkansas have been working together on a study of 250 postmcnopausal women in their 40s, 50s and 60s. The researchers found that the participants who consumed more iron-at least 18 milligrams a day-had the greatest bone mineral density.

This was somewhat surprising because the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of iron for women in these age groups has been set at only 8 milligrams a day. (It's higher for younger women.)

Iron is important because it promotes the production of collagen, a main component of bone. But the researchers found an interesting twist in their study. It seems the iron-intake level associated with higher bone density held true only for the women who also consumed between 800 and 1200 milligrams of calcium a day. If women consumed less-or more-calcium, the added iron didn't appear to help. …

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