Doctor, talk with us about the connection then between vitamin D, calcium, and osteoporosis.
Well, there are lots of connections. First of all, bones are made up of calcium, protein, and phosphate. Calcium is the principal mineral and it is one that is most likely to be in short supply in a typical diet, so we focused on calcium but it is important to emphasize that it is not just calcium. Most women are not getting an adequate calcium intake. I think fewer than 15 percent of women from adolescence to death are getting anything close to the recommended dietary intake of calcium today. The surgeon general, in his report on bone health and osteoporosis published two to three years ago, stated that the calcium was singled out for special attention because it was critical for bone health and because the American public intake is far short of the recommended level.