New research sheds light on the question of taking supplemental calcium for bone health. The study involved 168 postmenopausal women and compared women who ate a diet rich in calcium to women who took calcium supplements but had calcium-poor diets. The women eating a calcium-rich diet (these women also ate more fruit) had much higher bone density than women who got there calcium from supplements. Supplements alone actually were associated with the lowest bone density scores in the study!
Interestingly, the researchers proposed that the increased dietary calcium improved estrogen metabolism. Achieving healthy bones is not merely an act of "stuffing more calcium in your body", it is a complex interaction of many variables that affect overall metabolism. Dietary calcium appears to be one key in the puzzle. Read more about osteoporosis and what you can do about it on the Osteoporosis Page--topics include drugs that decrease bone density, depression and bone density, and more on food.
Read the study here.