The Effects of Dietary Supplements on Bone Health Unclear

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (November 15, 2018) – Dietary supplements often are sold on the promise that they will strengthen bones or even prevent osteoporosis. However, according to a new position statement released today by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE), the current understanding of the benefits of dietary supplements on bone health are inconclusive and require further studies. 

The desire to maintain optimal health as we age – including bone health – has prompted nearly one-half of the U.S. population and approximately 70 percent of older adults to use dietary supplements, however, the authors of the position statement note, optimal nutritional status for bone health is still best obtained with a healthy diet, and not so much by a single nutrient supplement.   

In addition, the authors describe the challenges to defining what constitutes optimal nutrition for bone health, while taking into account interactions between nutrients and food among other factors. Furthermore, they explain it’s unrealistic to provide a “one size fits all” definition for a single nutrient amount considered optimal for all individuals regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, body size and comorbidities. 

“As clinicians, we are frequently asked for advice regarding proper nutrient intake to maintain health,” said Daniel L. Hurley, MD, FACE, President of AACE and lead author of the position statement. “However, there are varying factors to consider when defining nutritional adequacy for optimal bone health such as food consumption and interactions between nutrients and food, and therefore, additional studies are needed to provide more clarity.”

The position statement is published in the October 2018, Vol. 24, Issue 10 edition of AACE’s peer-reviewed journal, Endocrine Practice.

To read the entire position statement, visit


About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. A majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our site at