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Calcium supplementation can help prevent osteoporosis, the "brittle bone" disease that results from bone loss. Osteoporosis is most common in women, who tend to lose bone mass relatively quickly after menopause. Taking a calcium supplement of 1,000 mg a day is linked with a lower risk of bone loss in women over 40.
What seems to matter most is that you get plenty of calcium over the long haul. Supplementing during the first five years after menopause begins didn't make a big difference to bone mass in studies, but taking calcium pills after that did significantly reduce bone loss.
Men can also develop osteoporosis, and there is some evidence that calcium supplements can lower this risk in men as well.
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