BACKGROUND: In southern Europe, calcium supplementation alone is a common practice for osteoporosis prevention. The present study aimed to examine whether calcium supplementation alone could be as effective in achieving favourable changes on bone metabolism indices of Greek post-menopausal women as a holistic dietary approach combining consumption of dairy products fortified with calcium and vitamin D(3) and nutrition counselling sessions for five winter months. METHODS: A sample of 101 post-menopausal women was randomised to a dairy intervention group (IG: n = 39), receiving approximately 1200 mg of calcium and 7.5 microg of vitamin D(3) per day via fortified dairy products and attending biweekly nutrition counselling sessions; a calcium-supplemented group (SG: n = 26) receiving a total of 1200 mg calcium per day; and a control group (CG: n = 36). RESULTS: Regarding insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, a higher increase was observed for the IG compared to the changes in the CG and the SG (P = 0.049). Regarding serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, the increase observed in the CG was higher than the changes observed in the other two groups but the differences were of marginal significance (P = 0.055). No significant differences were observed among groups regarding the changes in serum osteocalcin and type I collagen cross-linked C-telopeptide levels. CONCLUSIONS: The application of a holistic intervention approach combining nutrition counselling and consumption of fortified dairy products for five winter months induced some more favourable changes in IGF-I and PTH levels compared to calcium supplementation alone. Intervention periods longer than 5 months might be required to achieve significant differences among groups for bone remodelling biomarkers as well.