Results of a recent study in the United States suggest that the first signs of osteoporosis begin during adolescence, and that teenage girls should consider taking vitamin D and calcium supplements in an effort to avoid suffering from the condition later in life.
For the research, investigators from the School of Exercise Science at Australian Catholic University recruited 20 pairs of female twins between the ages of 9 and 13, and randomly assigned one sister in each family to receive calcium supplements with vitamin D. The other child was given inactive placebos.
After only six months of treatment, the researchers found that twins in the supplement group experienced much better bone development than those in the control group.
"Experts regard osteoporosis as a pediatric disease because the best time to prevent it is during childhood and early adolescence," said Tim Wood, Ph.D., vice president of research and development at USANA Health Sciences, which supplied the supplements.
"Women put on 50 percent of their adult bone mineral mass during their teenage years," he added. "As such, this is the best time to grow strong, mineral rich bones and the most effective way to prevent osteoporosis later in life."
The National Academy of Sciences recommends that adolescent girls receive as much as 1,300 milligrams of calcium each day, according to EMaxHealth.com.