ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
CANCER
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
FITNESS
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Maximize Your Run
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Calcium and vitamin D supplements may do more than strengthen bones in older women. These vital nutrients may also help younger, active women reduce their risk of stress fractures.

To illustrate that point, many bone health experts refer to a recent study of more than 5,200 female U.S. Navy recruits that found that women who didn't take additional calcium and vitamin D were about 25 percent more likely to suffer a stress fracture than women who took the vitamin and mineral combination.

"The most common time for a stress fracture is when you're increasing your exercise levels -- when you're going from doing nothing to doing a whole lot. It's too much, too fast, and the bone can't handle it," explained Dr. Sabrina Strickland, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

"Before you embark on any sort of exercise regimen, take calcium and vitamin D supplements to reduce your chances of a stress fracture," she advised.

Stress fractures occur when muscles become tired and can't absorb shock properly. That force is then transferred to the bone instead. After time, that added shock can cause a tiny crack in the bone. More than half of all stress fractures occur in the lower leg, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Women are more likely to suffer stress fractures, particularly women involved in just one particular sport, such as running, tennis, gymnastics or basketball.

"Stress fractures are seen in people who do the same activity over and over again," said Dr. Elton Strauss, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City.

In the Navy recruit study, the women were undergoing eight weeks of basic training. All were between the ages of 17 and 35. The women were randomly divided into two groups. One group was given daily supplements containing 2,000 milligrams of calcium and 800 international units of vitamin D, while the other group took a placebo.

More than 300 women developed a stress fracture. About 170 women who took a placebo experienced a stress fracture. That means about 25 percent more of the placebo group had a stress fracture compared to those taking the supplements.

Results of the study were presented at a recent meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society.

"I recommend that all of my female patients take 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium citrate and 800 international units of vitamin D3 daily," said Strickland.

Strickland also advised that athletes should cross-train to avoid stress fractures. If you're a runner, she suggests lifting weights. "Don't just participate in impact activities," she cautioned.

Strauss agreed that cross-training is crucial for strengthening muscles and ligaments, which will help prevent stress fractures. "You shouldn't do the same sport seven days a week," he said.

Strauss also suggested making sure you get plenty of sleep. And, if you're participating in a lot of exercise, you should "push for at least 12 to 15 grams of protein at each meal." Protein is important for the metabolism of muscles and bones, he said.

Strauss also recommended getting adequate levels of calcium, because it's "good for the entire musculoskeletal system." He said he thought most runners and other athletes spend enough time outdoors that they might not need a vitamin D supplement, because the body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. However, athletes who are vigilant about applying sunscreen may need the additional vitamin D.

Finally, when you begin a new activity, take it slow, Strickland advised. "Don't do too much too fast. The typical rule for runners, and one almost nobody follows, is to increase the amount of running by 10 percent each week," she said.

- Serena Gordon

More information

To learn more about stress fractures, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.



SOURCES: Sabrina Strickland, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, and chief, orthopedics, James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York City; Elton Strauss, M.D., associate professor of orthopedic surgery, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York City

Last Updated: Nov. 07, 2008

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