Calcium supplements aren’t just for menopausal women anymore. Turns out that even a very short course–as little as 8 weeks–of calcium (combined with Vitamin D) can make a big difference in the frequency of stress fractures in female military recruits. The study indicates that women who undertake the rigors of military training risk debilitating stress fractures far more often then males–as many as 21% of all female recruits. Those who exercised regularly were less prone, while those who smoked were more so. The chronic disability and pain that result from these injuries cost the government dearly in terms of lost investment when recruits are discharged from training.
Researchers hope there may be application for other areas of endeavor such as athletics. And though there doesn’t appear to be a specific indicator, the hope is that this easy, inexpensive supplementation would extend protection to male as well as female athletes.